WhatsApp for Android operates in two public branches: stable and beta. While the stable branch is where you want to be as the average user, the beta branch gives us the opportunity to witness the features that are in development for this popular instant messaging app. Past WhatsApp Betas have shown off hints for upcoming features such as multi-device support, expiring messages, Facebook story sharing, animated stickers, and even the famed dark theme. A previous beta had also spotted hints for QR code support for profiles, and now, the latest beta brings over support for the same.
As reported by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp for Android Beta v2.20.171 brings in support for QR codes for user profiles. This change is actually a server-side update, but you do need to be on this version to receive the feature. As one can expect, users get their own personal QR Code which they can share with other users, who can simply scan the code and add the phone number of the sharing user to their contact book. Since WhatsApp is tied to phone numbers, adding a contact number is enough to add a contact to your WhatsApp contact list.
To check out your personal QR code, you need to navigate to WhatsApp Settings and click on the QR code icon near your profile information. This opens up a new page within the app: on the first tab, you can view your own QR code, and on the second tab, you can scan QR codes from others. We also spot an image picker icon, indicating that you should also be able to scan a code from a pre-existing image in your gallery, for example, a screenshot. If needed, you can also revoke your QR code to prevent your number from being shared further.
As mentioned, this feature is currently available in the latest release within the beta branch of WhatsApp for Android. There is no word on when the feature will be making its way to the stable branch. While QR codes are definitely handy for quickly adding a contact, you can always just share your phone number — so you aren’t losing out all that much either way.
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