Reasons WhatsApp is adding itself to people’s contact lists
Reasons WhatsApp is adding itself to people’s contact lists, WhatsApp has launched an official chat to provide tips on using the platform, share new features, and make other announcements.
WABetaInfo previously reported that the popular messaging app first started sending messages directly to random users in March 2023.
Several South African readers started receiving messages directly from WhatsApp, suggesting a wider rollout had begun.
After an initial welcome message explaining the chat’s purpose, the readers received their first tips from WhatsApp.
WhatsApp advised one of the users to set up two-step verification, which requires creating a PIN that needs to be re-entered whenever a user adds their account to a new device.
The message included a “Try It” link that opened the setting directly.
WhatsApp also prompted the users to either “Continue” with the chat or “Block” it, allowing them to opt out.
The screenshots below show what opening the official chat for the first time looked like, as well as the chat profile’s description.
The WhatsApp chat was only available on mobile apps and not on the native desktop apps where the users were logged into the same accounts.
While the WhatsApp official chat seems well-intentioned, users should be aware that scammers might try to exploit its launch by pretending to be WhatsApp and getting users to share their personal or other valuable information.
To mitigate this, the official WhatsApp chat boasts several features that you should verify before engaging with it:
- The official chat has a verified green checkmark that appears next to its name in the profile section and each message.
- The official chat has a description that reads “Official WhatsApp Account”.
- There is a tappable information bubble at the top of the chat that states, “This is an official account of WhatsApp.” Clicking on this should show a window where WhatsApp explains it won’t ask for your personal information.
- There is no way to message the account, as indicated by a tab at the bottom of the official chat which states, “Only WhatsApp can send messages”.