Ahead of its eight birthday later this week, WhatsApp is introducing what is perhaps the biggest fundamental change to how people use one of its core features – WhatsApp Status. Instead of the boring ‘Hey there, I’m using WhatsApp’ that most people have by default or putting something else they rarely change, the Facebook-owned messaging app wants people to update their WhatsApp Status multiple times a day.
Facebook seems to have a thing for Snapchat Stories. The popular feature, on the social network that’s giving Facebook a run for the money, lets people post a string of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Now a similar feature is coming to another Facebook-owned app. WhatsApp, which has more than a billion users, on Monday introduced a revamped version of its Status feature. Users will be able to share a string of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
You can share photos, videos, and GIFs as your Status, which are visible to all your WhatsApp contacts by default. WhatsApp Status updates disappear after 24 hours.
The new WhatsApp Status implementation represents a move away from the traditional messaging app model that WhatsApp had by and large stuck to until now, and is an attempt to add more social-networking capabilities where you broadcast regular updates to your friends, who then share their comments or reactions. The one difference here is any replies that your friends send to Status updates are visible only to you, in your Chat with that friend, with a message that indicates which Status update they are replying to.
As you would expect, Status gets a tab of its own, in between Chats and Calls. It’s easy to create Status messages, especially if you’ve used the aforementioned Stories feature in either Snapchat or Instagram. WhatsApp Status updates you create are visible to your contacts by default, though you can change them to My contacts except or Only share with as well.
The new WhatsApp Status feature is rolling out users in Europe to begin with, Sarafa said, with other regions in line to get the feature later. The feature will ultimately be available to all WhatsApp users on Android, iPhone, and Windows.