Earlier this week, on February 20 to be precise, WhatsApp’s Jan Koum wrote a company blog post titled “WhatsApp Status.” At first, I thought it has to do something with WhatsApp’s System status that confirms whether the service is operating normally or not. As a matter of fact, it [the post] had nothing to do with System status. Instead, WhatsApp announced that it is reinventing its status feature. As a result, users can share photos and videos as status, similar to Snapchat and Instagram stories. WhatsApp turned 8 today, and coinciding with that, it rolled out its reinvented status to everyone, as promised.
It took me no time to notice the rounded green compose text button upon opening WhatsApp. It is not something new. In fact, it is there for quite some time now. The only difference, it was earlier located at the top right corner, but now it has got a new place. The compose text button, however, looks pretty similar to that of [Facebook] Messenger app. Moving on, I could no longer find the Contacts tab since it is now accessible via the compose text button itself. Other changes include new positions for “Chats” and “Calls” tabs. They are all minor changes, though. There is also a new camera icon at top left corner to send pictures to individually or as a status update quickly.
The biggest change has to be the addition of “Status” tab in the middle. Tapping it will take you into recent status updates where you can check updates shared by your contacts. Notably, WhatsApp has also got rid of the traditional status field. Meaning, you can no longer put a status that can remain unchanged for months. That said, new status updates appear only for 24 hours. WhatsApp undoubtedly wants its users to stick to the app for longer so that they will come up with new status updates to share frequently.
How to make a status update?
The easiest way to share a status update is by swiping right from the main screen. Alternatively, you can also go to Status tab > My status > tap to add a status update. Once done, an in-app camera interface will show up. You can click pictures, record videos, or attach saved photos from your device. You will come across a series of options to choose from before you share your update. You can crop the image, add text/emoticons, change text colour, or draw doodles. Once your update is ready, hit the green ‘Send’ button.
Status privacy settings
You can also change your status privacy settings to alter who can see your status updates. To configure that, go to quick action menu > Status privacy. Choosing ‘My contacts’ will share your status update with everyone in your contact list. You can also hide status updates from some of your contacts using ‘My contacts except…’ option. Furthermore, if you want to restrict the reach of your status update, you can do so as a result of ‘Only share with…’ option.
Deleting status updates
You can find your published status under the ‘Status’ tab. Do remember that your published status will remain active for 24 hours. You can also delete your status updates. Deleting them, however, will also be deleted for everyone. Go to ‘Status’ tab > My status > Long press the status > Hit Trash icon. Alternatively, you can slide up on your status update and delete it. You can also mute status updates from anyone in your contacts. All you need to do is long press the status update and hit the ‘Mute’ option. Once muted, new status updates from that contact will not appear at the top of the status list anymore.
Keep track of your audience
You can also see who all have viewed your status update. In my case, I wasn’t able to do so at first since my read receipts were disabled. Therefore, you can’t see views on your status updates if you have disabled read receipts. To configure it, go to Settings > Account > Privacy.
Do you like the new or something WhatsApp calls ‘reinvented’ status? Let us know in comments!