WhatsApp Web 2015-01-21 12-31-05

One of the service’s most-requested features, WhatsApp has today launched its web-based chat client. Rumors of it coming soon started appearing yesterday when screenshots of the latest WhatsApp app leaked showing an interface for logging into the web app, and now we have an idea of how that interface is used. With the quick scan of a QR code in-browser, you can start chatting with your WhatsApp friends from the desktop.

To log into the service, head over to the Android, Windows Phone, or Blackberry version of the mobile app and navigate to the “WhatsApp Web” screen. From there, you’ll need to scan a QR code that’s on the newly-launched web page. As of right now, the iOS app isn’t compatible with the web client, and the browser-based chat service only works with Google Chrome. WhatsApp says that support for more browsers is “coming soon.”

It’s not yet clear whether or not the launch of this web app is related to recent drama that has gone down over the last couple of days with the developers of WhatsApp third-party chat clients, although the timing is suspicious. The company started banning users of these apps for 24 hours yesterday and then finally sent a cease and desist letter to the most popular app—WhatsApp+—which has effectively shut it down.

According to the announcement:

Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser. Our web client is simply an extension of your phone: the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device — this means all of your messages still live on your phone.

Head over to https://web.whatsapp.com/ to try it out.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.