WhatsApp is making changes to its iPhone app that will make people more visible when friends post status updates. This change is currently available to users in the WhatsApp beta app, but may roll out to anyone over time.
Although the WhatsApp Status feature is similar to Instagram Stories, it is not used as often. This is probably why instant messengers want to make the feature more accessible, which can help encourage its use. Now WAB says that the new beta is changing the status quo so that new status updates appear in the regular chat stream, making it easier to spot. Similar changes have been made in the latest beta version of the computer application.
WhatsApp plans to bring the same functionality to iOS at a later date. This is no surprise: WhatsApp is used to developing the same features for all its platforms, and there will be news soon about a beta version of WhatsApp for Android. But how does it work? When the feature is released and someone in your contact list posts a status update, it will also appear directly in your chat list without opening the Status tab. Currently, even disabling status updates in the chat list will be highlighted, but this may be temporary: since this feature is under development and not yet available, WhatsApp may change how the feature works before release.
Here’s how WhatsApp describes the underutilized Status feature:
Status allows you to share text, photo, video and GIF updates that disappear after 24 hours and are also fully encrypted. To send and receive status updates from your contacts, you and your contacts need to store each other’s phone numbers in your phone’s contacts.
WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone applications for people who need to keep in touch with friends and family using their Android device and Windows computer hardware, but the status update feature is not mainstream for users. Whatsapp will hopefully change after this update.