WhatsApp’s Launching a Newsletter, But No One (Including WhatsApp) Knows What It’s About

Whatsapp Newsletter

Looks like WhatsApp is dabbling in… newsletters. A blog dedicated to WhatsApp news and developments discovered that that the instant messaging app is working on a “private newsletter tool”.

“WhatsApp is now working on a new feature called Newsletter,” reports the publication WABetaInfo. “To be honest, we cannot say for sure that it is really called ‘Newsletter’ as it seems a codename at the moment, but we can temporarily call it that way.”

Whatever the feature’s actual name, the WhatsApp newsletter will be a tool for broadcasting information and for users to receive useful updates from people and groups like local officials, sports teams and other organisations, according to the publication. Users will be able to choose who they want to hear from and follow broadcasters of their choice right within WhatsApp. It’s worth noting though that at this stage, details on who will actually be putting out the newsletters are unclear.

“Based on several clues in the code, Newsletters will be a separate and optional section available within the Status tab which is separate from private chats, and will not affect the end-to-end encryption of private messaging: all your messages and calls are and will always be end-to-end encrypted.”

Related: Note to Self: WhatsApp’s New Feature Will Let You Message Yourself

Related: Clear Your Throat ‘Cause WhatsApp Will Soon Let You Record Your Status

In other words, the WhatsApp newsletter is being built with privacy in mind. None of your contacts in the app will be able to see who you’re following, and your phone numbers and personal info will always be hidden.

WABetaInfo adds that Newsletters won’t be a public social network — it’ll be a personal space where you are always in control over what you see when you see it and who you see it from. Currently, it doesn’t have any ads on it, and there’s no sign of algorithmic recommendations or social graphs pushing content to users they didn’t choose to receive.

“The content will always be shown chronologically without any magic priority, just like other WhatsApp chats,” the publication reports.

Earlier this year, it was reported that WhatsApp was also testing out another feature: voice note statuses. The voice status update lets users record and share voice notes as a status instead of plain text.

“You will have a maximum recording time of 30 seconds, and if you don’t like what you hear, you can toss out the status before recording another update,” wrote TechRadar.

“Notes are confirmed to be end-to-end encrypted, ‘ensuring that only the people you choose with your privacy settings can listen to them’. They also automatically disappear after 24 hours or you can delete them yourself at any time.”

The voice notes feature is only available to a few beta testers on Android, and only users who have access to the beta can hear voice statuses from friends.

This comes after WhatsApp launched another new feature late last year: the ability to message yourself. The idea is that you can easily keep track of reminders, shopping lists and any other pieces of info you think of when you don’t have a pen and paper handy.

Called ‘Message Yourself’, the feature works exactly how the way it sounds — it lets you access yourself in your WhatsApp contact lists, and then start a conversation. Like any other WhatsApp convo, you can send simple text, hyperlinks, voice notes and even forwarded messages from other chats. Users can also pin their self-chat messages to the top of the conversation list if they don’t want to waste any time searching for them.

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