Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp says it now allows users to utilize proxy servers to access the service in countries where the app is blocked.

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between users and web services, allowing users to bypass restrictions and censorship by functioning as a web filter.

This new feature is available to users with the latest version of the app. In the past, users in countries such as Iran and Syria have relied on virtual private network (VPN) services to bypass internet censorship.

Chart: Acquah Yeboah /

In the event of continued shutdowns, WhatsApp hopes that this solution will help provide secure and reliable communication for those in need.

The company has stated that it will do everything within its technical capabilities to keep the service accessible and that it is not blocking Iranian phone numbers.

This announcement comes after Iran restricted access to Instagram and WhatsApp following unrest in response to the arrest of Mahsa Amini for "unsuitable attire" by morality police in Tehran.