WhatsApp adds new status features, hope you’ll use them

Meta adds several new features to WhatsApp status, allowing you to post disappearing images and other media. Once the features roll out over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to react to people’s messages with an emoji, limit who can see your status, and post voicemails.

According to an announcement post, status emoji reactions work the same as on Instagram; when you swipe up on the message, you have the option to choose from one of eight emoji. (The options are 😍,😂,😮,😥,🙏,👏,🎉 and 💯.)

While a WhatsApp blog post calls emoji reactions the #1 requested feature after launching the ability to react to messages last year, I personally feel that the Private Audience Picker is the most wanted addition. more useful announced today. The feature lets you change who can see your statuses, with the option to show it to everyone, hide it from certain contacts, or only show it to specific people. According to Meta, the options you choose will be the default options for the next status you post, but you can change them without changing the visibility of past statuses.

The private audience picker is similar to Instagram’s close friends list, Snapchat’s private stories, or Twitter’s circles.
Picture: WhatsApp

Other features are small quality of life improvements. Statuses that include links will also be more visually appealing – Meta says there will now be previews for the site or page the link takes you to. WhatsApp is also trying to clarify when people post a status by adding a ring around their profile picture in chat lists, group participant lists, and contact info screens.

These all seem like good additions to the status feature, but I wonder how many people will use them. Some of my colleagues who use WhatsApp say they’ve never seen anyone post a status, and I’ve certainly heard more people refer to competing products like Stories on Snapchat or Instagram (although it’s interesting to note that I live in the US, where WhatsApp doesn’t have a massive hold). If you’re a WhatsApp user, say in the comments if you or your friends are big fans of statuses – or if Tuesday’s announcement might inspire you to give them a try.


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