On Tuesday, February 7, WhatsApp introduced a slew of new features for users. These new features are all around the ‘Status Update’ functionality, which users can see on a separate tab in the app. These new features include a private audience selector, voice statuses, status reactions, status profile rings (similar to Instagram and Facebook) and link previews on statuses. WhatsApp has begun rolling out these features and if users have not received them already, they should in the coming days. Make sure to update your app in order to use them. Let us take a closer look at these new features.
Announcing the update, WhatsApp said in its blog post, “Status is a popular way to share ephemeral updates with friends and close contacts on WhatsApp. They disappear in 24 hours and may include photos, videos, GIFs, text, and more. We’re excited to add a set of new features to status on WhatsApp that make it easier to express yourself and connect with others”.
New WhatsApp status update features
1. Private Audience Selector: Earlier, WhatsApp allowed users to block some contacts from seeing their statuses. However, now users will be able to choose who gets to see their statuses every time they update it. This flexible privacy feature will allow users to pick and choose what to share with whom and not wait an entire 24 hours before changing them.
2. Voice status: In this unique feature, users will now be able to add and share voice messages in statuses. These voice messages can be as long as 30 seconds. This would work exactly the same as voice messages in chats do.
3. Status reactions: WhatsApp claimed it to be the most requested feature by users following the launch of reactions last year. Users will get a selection of eight emojis to react to any status quickly. Reacting with replies will also exist in parallel for those who prefer words over emojis.
4. Status profile rings for new updates: Users will not miss status updates by friends and family with this new feature. Whenever a user updates their status, their profile will be circled with a green ring indicating that there is a status which hasn’t been viewed. It will be visible in the chat lists, group participant lists, and contact info.
5. Link preview on status: No more ugly URLs and one line text explaining what the url is all about. Now, users will automatically see a visual preview of the link content in statuses, just like they do in chats.
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