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The personal QR code feature being tested in WhatsApp (left) and the similar function already found in WeChat (right). (Picture: WABetaInfo/Abacus)

WhatsApp trials letting people add new contacts with a QR code

It’s similar to a feature already found in WeChat

QR codes
This article originally appeared on ABACUS

Normally when you want to message a new person on WhatsApp, you first need to add the contact to your phone’s address book. Now WhatsApp is testing a new feature that lets you add someone directly within the app by scanning that person’s personal QR code.

The update, reported by WABetaInfo, is currently available to beta testers. The QR code can be found in the Settings section of WhatsApp. You can either present your code for a new friend to scan, or scan your friend’s code. You can also choose to revoke an old code and generate a new one each time you need it.

WeChat, the most popular messaging app in China, has long given users personal QR codes for the purpose of exchanging contacts with new friends. But while adding someone on WeChat only shares your username, adding people on WhatsApp requires adding a phone number. So anyone who scans your WhatsApp QR code will also have your phone number automatically.