WhatsApp announced today that people can now use its messaging app on multiple phones at the same time, linking up to four companion devices in total. The process works similarly to how users can link PCs and tablets to their accounts and use WhatsApp independently on each device. The update was also announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook page.
The company first announced the ability to link multiple devices last year in an effort to increase cross-device compatibility. As part of the feature, WhatsApp syncs chats and media across devices over the internet while keeping the conversations end-to-end encrypted. It said that WhatsApp will automatically log out of companion devices if the primary device remains inactive for a long period. The company said in its blog post:
Linking phones as companion devices makes messaging easier. Now you can switch between phones without signing out and pick up your chats where you left off. Or if you’re a small business owner, additional employees are now able to respond to customers directly from their phones under the same WhatsApp Business account.
The update has started rolling out globally in a phased manner and will reach everyone in the coming weeks. WhatsApp added that it will also introduce an alternative way to add companion devices in the coming weeks. Users would be able to type their phone number on WhatsApp Web to receive a one-time code which they can enter on their primary phone to link the device.