Whatsapp gets a new function: Users can send messages to themselves in the future

“Message Yourself”, i.e. “write yourself”, is the name of the new function that the messenger service “Whatsapp” has announced. Other messenger services have been offering this for a long time, and now the function is being rolled out in this app as well, reports the industry magazine “TechCrunch”.

How the new feature works

In addition to the other contacts in the app, users who already have the function can also select themselves and send messages. This is the same as before with other contacts. You create a new chat with a click on the button at the top left above the chats and can then select your own number from the contacts. Very easily!

So you can send yourself messages that no one else can read. Practical: Like all other chats, users can search their own chat for keywords, links or photos. It should also be possible to pin your own chat so that it is always visible above all other contacts.

How it works without the update

If you don’t have the new function yet, you can still send yourself messages – with a small detour. To do this, create a new group and select any contact that will be invited to the group. To prevent the contact from reading along, you remove the contact from the group again. This can be done at the top of the chat via the settings when you click on the group name.

Criticism of WhatsApp and alternatives

Although Whatsapp is by far the most frequently used messenger service in Germany, there has always been criticism of the app. For example, Meta may exchange Whatsapp user data such as profile names, profile pictures or mobile phone numbers with all other Meta services. However, these can also be phone numbers from the address books, regardless of whether the contacts use the app themselves or not. The consumer advice center criticizes this and has initiated legal action.

At the beginning of 2017, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) filed a lawsuit against WhatsApp over the exchange of data. The proceedings are being conducted before the Berlin Regional Court under file number 52 O 22/17. The proceedings are currently suspended until the Federal Court of Justice has ruled in another case.

Federation of Consumers

As an alternative to Whatsapp, the consumer center recommends apps whose messages are end-to-end encrypted. This means that if this is programmed correctly, only the sender and recipient can read or view or play the message. And the apps should not be allowed to store or continue to use any data about the usage behavior of the users. This includes, for example, “Ginlo” and “Threema”, which can also be used anonymously, i.e. can be used without your own personal information such as e-mail or cell phone number.

Sources: Brisant, TechCrunch, Verbraucherzentrale, Statista