WhatsApp is currently developing a feature known as Alternate Profiles that gives users more control over their online persona, especially for those using WhatsApp for both personal and professional reasons. Here’s how it works:
- Your Regular Profile: Your profile is visible to everyone and features your picture, name, and other pertinent details.
- Alternate Profile: Your Alternate Profile is only visible to certain contacts that you choose, and allows you to set up a second profile picture and a separate account name which only certain contacts can see. For instance:
- If you use WhatsApp for work purposes, creating a separate profile with professional images and names may help keep personal and professional lives separate on one account.
- How to Create an Alternate Profile (Note: this feature is still being developed and not yet available for testing): Whilst in WhatsApp, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Profile Photo and choose My Contacts as the setting so only those on your list can view your primary photo profile.
Create an alternate profile similar to what was done for your original profile.
Update the settings. Keep this feature in mind as a way of maintaining privacy when sharing information via WhatsApp; especially if you need different online identities for different contacts. Stay tuned for its official release date!
This feature is still in development but has the potential to become an invaluable tool for users who prefer keeping their personal and professional lives separate. It will be interesting to observe how this new functionality impacts how people use WhatsApp.
How do I know if someone has an alternate profile?
Unfortunately, WhatsApp has yet to officially introduce the Alternate Profile feature; but once available you may notice certain signs if someone has set up an alternate profile:
- Profile Picture: When someone creates multiple profiles, each may feature its own distinctive profile picture visible to specific contacts. You might see one image when talking with them but another when viewing their profile.
- Names in Your Chat List and Group Chats: Pay close attention to who’s listed as participants in chat lists or group conversations, especially if an alternate profile name differs from their primary name.
- Privacy Settings: If someone’s privacy settings have been modified (for instance by restricting who can view their profile picture or status updates), this could be a telltale sign that they’ve created another profile.
- Behavior Within an App: Notice how they behave within an app. If someone frequently changes names or pictures during conversations, this could indicate they have another profile set up in that space.
Note that these indicators are just speculations based on how the feature will likely work; once WhatsApp officially unveils the feature, they may provide clearer indicators for identifying alternate profiles. Stay tuned for updates! Furthermore, you may also notice:
- Different Contact Details: Those who use an alternate profile might use different phone numbers and email addresses for that profile, as well as participate in different groups and chats through them.
- Different Activity Levels: If someone has multiple profiles, one may be more active on one than on the other.
- These could be indicators that someone is using an alternate profile on WhatsApp. If someone contacts you, blocking or reporting them might be an effective way of dealing with it.