WhatsApp users may have been shocked to hear the news that unless they sign up to new terms and conditions they could find themselves left without access to the world’s most popular chat app. WhatsApp wants its billions of fans to agree to new rules for using its service which includes how it processes data and the way businesses can use Facebook hosted services.

WhatsApp has now begun notifying users of the change with a message that explains, “by tapping agree, you accept the new terms and privacy policy, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Centre if you would prefer to delete your account and would like more information.”

Arguably the biggest change surrounds how WhatsApp handles data with its parent company Facebook.

Previously WhatsApp gave users the option to “not have your WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook”, but this appears to be done away with the latest update.

Defending its new policy update a WhatsApp spokesperson said: “There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing practices in the European region (including UK) arising from the updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements.”

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Currently, the only way to do this is via WhatsApp Web but this service requires the primary smartphone that’s used for the account to be powered up and connected to the internet. The new update would end all that with it thought that up to four devices could have unique access to chats simultaneously.

The ever-reliable team at WABetainfo have now spotted the Linked Devices feature in a beta version of the Android app with screenshots even showing how it will work. This way of using WhatsApp on extra gadgets will be hugely welcomed by those who have more than one smartphone or want to switch between their PC and tablet to chat with friends and family.

There’s no word on a release date of any of these upgrades but the fact they are being tested means there’s probably not too long to wait.