WhatsApp has reportedly added a new feature that will make it easy for users to notify people in their contact when they change their number. First spotted by WABetaInfo, the update is rolling out to WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.17.375. Despite upgrading to WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.17.377 ourselves, we were unable to find the feature working for us. It’s likely that the feature maybe enabled server side and rolling out to select users in a phased manner, eliminating the need to manually update the app through Google Play Store.
Changing the number is possible by navigating to Settings > Account > Change number. WhatsApp has made it clear that changing the phone number will also migrate account info, groups, and settings. Users need to enter both their old/existing and new phone number in order to proceed. But since it only notifies the groups on Android, currently there’s no way users can notify the individuals when they change their number, unless they decide to do it manually themselves.
WhatsApp may have figured the problem and accordingly implemented the feature on a short scale before making it available to everyone. The new feature reportedly lets users decide who they want to notify from the list of options such as all contacts, people they chat with, or a custom list of handpicked contacts. Some reports also say that using the feature will also transfer personal messages to a WhatsApp account associated with a new number.