WhatsApp is set to undergo significant changes starting March: it will no longer be available on many phones and will introduce important updates

The app is enhancing its privacy, but not all users will receive the update

As March arrives, WhatsApp, the leading instant messaging app on Spanish mobiles, is changing forever. From the first day of the third month of the year, users of WhatsApp, a part of Mark Zuckerberg’s empire, will notice the app taking a step further in securing the conversations held on its platform.

In recent months, scams on WhatsApp have increased and become more sophisticated. Cybercriminals have evolved from SMS scams to email, and now, to WhatsApp. With 3 billion users worldwide, cybercriminals have found a vulnerability to exploit.

Scammers pretend to be a known person who has supposedly lost their phone, asking for money or help. This ‘modus operandi’ follows certain patterns, focusing lately on job offer scams through recruiters. The new WhatsApp update, according to Meta, will alert users to such scams. Through various algorithms, the company works on automatically detecting phishing or spam attempts. “The warning will be visible before the user enters the chat, allowing them to end the conversation directly without having to open it,” its developers say.

But this isn’t the only change aimed at improving user privacy. From March, screenshotting profile pictures will be prohibited to protect user identity and prevent impersonation. For now, taking screenshots of conversation images for gossiping remains allowed, though it often leads to arguments, breakups, and many intrusions of privacy.

The new update also brings usability improvements in conversations. Starting in March, WhatsApp will allow users to search messages by date in chats. Users need to press the calendar icon that appears when clicking on the magnifying glass icon we usually use to search for something by words. Additionally, users can now include lists, block quotes, and code blocks in their texts.

Interoperability with Other Apps
However, the most significant change comes with WhatsApp opening up to other tools. According to various specialized media, this version of WhatsApp will allow reading and sending messages to other platforms – expected to include Telegram, Signal, and iMessage, among others – without needing to leave the app.

This is due to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which mandates tech companies to be interoperable and not operate as silos. Initially, it will be available for text and voice messages, images, videos, and files, and later, it will also apply to calls and group chats, leaving it up to the user to decide whether to use it or not.