WhatsApp, the hugely popular instant messaging app and platform owned by Meta, is testing a new feature that could make it much easier to keep your location private when on a call.
The feature, which is currently only in beta testing and ahs no public release date, allows users to protect their IP address when on a call. The move means that it will be harder for other people to use that IP address to try and figure out the person's location if they don't want them to know it.
The new feature was spotted by the WhatsApp watchers over at WABetaInfo and is available in the latest WhatsApp beta that is now being offered to iPhone users.
The option to protect the user's IP address will see calls securely relayed through WhatsApp's servers so that other parties will only be able to access the IP address of those servers rather than the person they are on a call with. However, a screenshot shared by WABetaInfo does show that WhatsApp warns users that the relaying of calls through its servers will reduce the call quality. It isn't yet clear how much it reduces it by, however.
This could be a big deal for people who need to keep their location private at all costs, especially when receiving a call from someone that they don't yet know.
Right now the feature is available to only some people who have access to the latest TestFlight version of WhatsApp, with WABetaInfo noting that it will likely roll out to more people over the coming days. After that, we can surely expect it to come to other platforms as well.