WhatsApp today announced that people can now use its messaging app on multiple phones at the same time, connecting up to four companion devices in total. This 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 across the Internet, keeping conversations end-to-end encrypted. It states that WhatsApp will automatically log out of companion devices if the primary device remains inactive for a long period of time. The company said in its statement Blog post:
Linking phones as companion devices makes messaging easier. Now you can switch between phones without signing out and pick up your chats right 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 rolled out globally in phases and will roll out to everyone in the coming weeks. WhatsApp added that it will also introduce an alternative way to add companion devices in the coming weeks. Users will be able to type their phone number into WhatsApp Web to get a one-time code that they can enter on their primary phone to link the device.