WhatsApp has added the ability to link an email address to a user’s account with the latest update to its iOS mobile app, WABetaInfo reports.
The publication said the feature will be rolling out over the coming weeks to users with the latest official version of the iOS app — 23.24.70 — available from the Apple App Store.
Despite no mention of the new capability in the changelog, iPhone users who have received the feature will find it available under the “Account” section in their WhatsApp settings.
To add their email, WhatsApp will require that they enter a verification code sent to their chosen address.
The feature will allow users to log into their WhatsApp accounts using an email address rather than their phone number.
It will prove particularly useful for those unable to receive verification codes via SMS or get a verification call from WhatsApp.
This can include people who have been robbed of or lost their phone and have not had the time to perform a SIM swap.
One of the downsides of the feature is that it could create a new channel for hackers to take over a WhatsApp account if they have somehow gained access to the user’s email inbox.
However, creating and using a WhatsApp account will still require a linked phone number, and logging into the app using a phone number remains an option.
It is unclear whether requesting a number change using a linked email address and the new number would be possible.
The screenshot below from WABetaInfo shows a part of the email linking process on the WhatsApp for iOS app.