WhatsApp, the popular Meta-owned instant messaging platform, is reportedly testing a new feature that will allow users to easily share files offline with people nearby.

In other words, WhatsApp users will be able to share photos, videos, media, and other files with their contacts without the need for an internet connection.

WhatsApp May Soon Allow To Share Files Without Internet

WABetaInfo, a known WhatsApp tipster publication, discovered the new feature in the latest version of WhatsApp beta for Android update, which is available on the Google Play Store.

Dubbed “People Nearby,” this feature, which works similarly to Android’s Nearby Share and Apple’s AirDrop options, is designed to offer an improved file-sharing experience between WhatsApp users nearby without an internet connection. It also enhances the convenience and efficiency of exchanging documents, photos, videos, and more, which is made possible by Bluetooth connectivity.

According to the leaked screenshots shared in the WABetaInfo report, WhatsApp will have a dedicated People Nearby section, which can be directly accessed within the app settings. WhatsApp will ask for permission on the user’s phone to find Bluetooth and connect to devices on the local network, the user’s photo gallery, and the device’s location.

The People Nearby option can be found under Settings > People Nearby. This feature is only discoverable if other users open the same screen within their WhatsApp app and grant permission for their device. Once both devices are detected and connected, the file-sharing process can begin.

It’s crucial to note that this process is entirely opt-in, meaning no one can send files to the user without their permission, ensuring a secure and controlled sharing experience that respects the user’s preferences.

One of the key aspects of this new feature is the user’s complete control over their visibility to others nearby, ensuring their privacy and security. As always with WhatsApp, the file-sharing feature is end-to-end encrypted, and phone numbers are asked throughout the discovery and transfer process for added security.

Importantly, users will have the ability to revoke these permissions from their phone settings at any time, further enhancing their control over their data.

Currently, the file-sharing feature with people nearby is under development and will be available in a future version of WhatsApp for Android. It is still being determined if similar functionality is being worked on for iOS devices or if WhatsApp has plans to bring the feature to all platform users.


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