WhatsApp Status, the feature that was introduced in 2017 as the company’s take on Snapchat Stories, has received a number of updates to make it more attractive and appealing to users. One of the latest additions is the ability to set voice notes as status updates.
On Tuesday, WhatsApp announced voice status, which enables users to record and share voice messages of up to 30 seconds as status updates. Users will get the option to record voice notes by tapping the microphone icon on the status screen. It provides a more personal touch to status updates and works as a convenient option for those who prefer not to type or use graphics. Last month, WhatsApp tested its voice status feature with its Android and iOS beta testers.
Voice status comes months after WhatsApp saw significant traction in voice messages on its platform. The Meta-owned messaging app in March said that its users were sending an average of 7 billion voice messages daily.
The arrival of voice notes on WhatsApp status updates reminds us of the Cappuccino app, which lets users share short, intimate audio stories with friends.
Alongside voice status, the latest WhatsApp status updates include a “private audience selector” that lets users easily pick a privacy option per status to choose who can view their status updates. A new audience selector button appears on the status screen — it brings up a menu to let users control the visibility of their status updates. The most recent audience selection will be saved and used as the default for the following status update, the messaging app said in a blog post.
Before the audience selector option, users had to manually go to the privacy settings on WhatsApp to choose who could view their status.
WhatsApp has also broadened the availability of status reactions that were available to some users a few months back. Users can quickly reply to any status updates by swiping up and tapping on one of eight emojis.
Similar to status reactions, WhatsApp has widened the availability of status profile rings to all users — after making them available to some users in the recent past. These rings appear around your contact’s profile picture when they share a status update — it works a bit like on Instagram. Status profile rings will be visible in the chat lists, group participant lists and contact info.
Users also get link previews on their WhatsApp status updates. This will allow them to showcase a visual preview of their links to Instagram posts or YouTube videos that they put on their status.
The updates have started rolling out to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks, the messaging app said.
Last month, WhatsApp released its native macOS client in a public beta. The app also launched its official proxy support for global users a few weeks ago to help people communicate if their internet connection restricts connectivity with WhatsApp.