WhatsApp Status, the new feature which lets users upload photos and videos for their contacts to see, instead of a simple text-based status message, has now gone live. The feature is live on Android, iOS and Windows smartphones across the world. WhatsApp’s new Status, which is totally inspired from Snapchat’s Stories, was announced earlier this week by the company.
With the new WhatsApp Status feature, users will be allowed to share photos and videos with friends and contacts on the app. WhatsApp confirms that similar to chats, the status updates are also end-to-end encrypted. The Status messages you put will disappear after 24 hours.
"We are excited to announce that, coinciding with WhatsApp's 8th birthday on February 24, we are reinventing the status feature," wrote Jan Koum, CEO and Co-founder of WhatsApp in an announcement blog post earlier this week.
"Starting today, iPhone, Android and Windows users can send photos, videos and GIFs through Status to share special moments throughout their day with friends and family," said the company.
Status works exactly like Stories on Snapchat or Instagram. Now on iOS, Status has its own tab on the extreme left at the bottom, followed by Calls, then Camera in the middle, followed by Chats and then Settings. On Android, the tabs are ordered like this: Camera, Chats, Status and then Calls.
Here is how you use it:
- Tap on the Status tab.
- Here you will see all the status you contacts have posted.
- Tap on a status to reply to that person. The replies are sent to regular chats along with the snapshot of that person's Status. In this way WhatsApp hopes that Status updates will be a trigger for conversations.
- To post your own Status update, you have to click on the dotted circle with plus sign (it's on the top right corner of the screen). Or you can just tap on "My Status".
- Your Status message will automatically expire after 24 hours. Additionally, if you want to delete your Status message, you will have to tap on the 3 dots in front of your Status. In the next Window, long press the Status and select delete option.
WhatsApp lets you control who can see your Status update as well. In WhatsApp’s Status tab on iOS, there’s a privacy option right on top. You have three options: "my contacts,” "contacts except…” and "only share with…” for your story. On Android, the Status Privacy option is in the settings. Just tap the three dots on top of WhatsApp homepage, and you’ll see Status Privacy option on top. Once again, you can choose from the three options.
You can also reply to someone’s Status update. There is a reply button, so you can comment on any photo, video, or GIF. Once you tap reply, your message will be sent in a WhatsApp chat with a thumbnail of the Status update. It’s not clear if that message will also be deleted after 24 hours.
Below your own Status, you’ll see little round heads of your contacts with a blue circle around them. This blue circle indicates they too have a ‘Status’ you can check out. You can keep tapping on these status updates to move from one contact to another.
The new WhatsApp Status no doubt take cues from Snapchat's Stories, and is being seen as the company's first attempt to move away from the traditional messaging app that is being followed. The revamped Status also looks inspired by Facebook's change of profile and cover pictures that notifies other users.