Several days ago WhatsApp had announced Status feature, which kind of turns the app into a social media app. It no longer is just a chat app. The feature was supposed to reach consumers in a few days and now it has. Last night WhatsApp updated the app in the Google Play store as well as the iOS store to ensure that all WhatsApp users have the Status feature in their apps.
“Starting today, iPhone, Android and Windows users can send photos, videos and GIFs through Status to share special moments throughout their day with friends and family,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
So how do you use it? Just like other WhatsApp features the Status too is simple to use. It is pretty neat, although its implications may not because it may turn the app into a sort of Facebook or Twitter, where everyone just pushes out status updates instead of chatting with each other. Then there is the chance that Status part of the WhatsApp could be used for showing ads to users. And finally there are some other minor consequences (we will come to it later).
How to use WhatsApp Status
Once you have updated the app, you will see that the WhatsApp status update tab is there near the Calls and Chats tab. So here is how you use it:
— Tap on the Status tab.
— Here you will see all the status you contacts have posted.
– Tap on a status to reply to that person. The replies are sent to regular chats along with the snapshot of that person’s Status. In this way WhatsApp hopes that Status updates will be a trigger for conversations.
— To post your own Status update, you have to click on the dotted circle with plus sign (it’s on the top right corner of the screen). Or you can just tap on “My Status”.
— Your Status message will automatically expire after 24 hours. Additionally, if you want to delete your Status message, you will have to tap on the 3 dots in front of your Status. In the next Window, long press the Status and select delete option.
But be cautious…Status privacy
The important bit here to know is that WhatsApp is a very different kind of beast compared to Facebook. Even though the app has added the Status feature, the updates that you make through it will still be private, mostly. It is important that you set the privacy options carefully, although for now the options aren’t all that good.
The Status feature has three privacy options, which can be accessed by tapping on three dots on the top right in the main Status window.
The three options are:
Share with contacts: This will let you share the Status with all your contacts, which means with all those whose numbers you have saved.
Share with contacts but exclude: This lets you bar certain people from getting your Status updates. Say for example, you don’t mind all your contacts getting the Status update but doesn’t want it to go to a certain few who are pests and bother you on WhatsApp. Well, now you can do that. By using this feature you will be able to tell WhatsApp about the contacts that should not receive your Status updates.
Share with only few: By selecting this option, you exclude everyone in your contact list from getting your Status update except the ones who you have added specifically. Say for example, you only want your girlfriend or boyfriend to get your naughty Status update. You will have use this option. Or you want only your family members to get the Status update. Again, use this feature. It is like a whitelist option, whereas the earlier one was like blacklist option.
And now the bad part…
The way I see it, Status could be a popular feature. Although it also has the potential to make WhatsApp chaotic. But more than that there are several other points that are worth noting.
— WhatsApp has removed the earlier Status option, which was part of the profile. Now, that Status used to serve a different purpose. It used to tell people about whether you were available or not. It was also a way to communicate with all of your contacts at once