WhatsApp will keep your phone number completely private in community chats

You won't risk giving away your digits when you react to messages.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Your phone number is generally secret in WhatsApp communities, but there's still a chance you'll let it slip if you react to messages. That might not be a problem for much longer, thankfully, as WABetaInfo has discovered that WhatsApp is more broadly testing a "phone number privacy" feature with beta users. Enable it and your digits will only be visible to community administrators and those who've saved you as a contact.

The option has been in limited testing for months, but appears to be rolling out widely to beta users who've installed the latest Android and iOS updates. We've asked WhatsApp parent company Meta for more details, but WABetaInfo says the upgrade should reach more users and groups in the days ahead.

The addition could prove crucial for privacy in some cases. This lets you fully participate in the community announcement group without fear that you'll reveal your number. Creeps and would-be fraudsters can't call or text you unless you accept a request to share your contact info. That, in turn, could help you feel comfortable using communities in the first place.

WhatsApp has been adding a number of privacy features in recent weeks, including locked chats, automatic silencing of unknown callers and a settings review. Phone number privacy is consistent with that strategy — it's another safeguard against inadvertently sharing sensitive data with others.