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.
WhatsApp has pushed it out as a OTA update. You won’t have to search for an update on App Store or Google Play Store, as the feature has gone live on the app itself. So first up, Status is no longer that boring text-based thing, which no one bothered to read or care about, although people in India are known to update Status regularly.
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.
So what does Status do and what’s the point? Think of it as a way of broadcasting something fun to your contacts in one go, except it won’t show up in their individual chats, but rather in their Status tab. Remember these WhatsApp ‘Status’ stories last only for 24 hours. They will disappear after this period.
First just go to the Status tab. Then just tap on that broken circle with the plus symbol on top, the one that’s similar to how you post Stories on Instagram. The camera will open, and you can just long press to shoot a video. You can send as video or edit it as a GIF. Or just take a photo like you normally do, and then just send on Status.
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.
Just like Snapchat lets you see how many people have viewed your story, WhatsApp will let you do the same. Just tap the eye icon at the bottom of any Status update to view a list of contacts who have seen your update.
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.
Status might be a revamped version of Stories from Snapchat, but given WhatsApp’s one billion users, don’t be surprised if a lot more people start using it.