WhatsApp has announced a set of new features aimed at enhancing the user experience on its status feature.
The company said in a statement that the new updates will provide users with more ways to express themselves and connect with others in a more private and secure manner.
The first of these new features is the “Private Audience Selector.” This gives users the flexibility to update their privacy settings per status, allowing them to choose who views their status each time they update it. Their most recent audience selection will be saved and used as the default for the next status.
WhatsApp has also added a voice status feature that allows users to record and share voice messages up to 30 seconds long on their status. The company believes this will provide a more personal touch to updates, especially for those who may feel more comfortable expressing themselves through speaking rather than typing.
Another new addition is status reactions. This feature was the number one request from users, according to the company, following the launch of reactions last year. Users can now quickly reply to any status by swiping up and tapping on one of eight emojis. Of course, they can still reply with text, voice message, stickers and more.
WhatsApp has also introduced status profile rings for new updates. This ring will be present around a contact’s profile picture whenever they share a status update. It will be visible in the chat lists, group participant lists, and contact info, helping users never to miss a status from a loved one.
Lastly, the company has added link previews to status. Now, when a user posts a link on their status, they will automatically see a visual preview of the link content, just like when they send a message. This will make statuses look better and give their contacts a better idea of what the link is before they click.
These updates have started rolling out to users globally and are expected to be available to everyone in the coming weeks.