WhatsApp wants to make people's Status updates more obvious on iOS

WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X
WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is working on making it easier for iPhone users to see Status updates.
  • Status updates are now appearing in the main Chats view for those running the latest beta version of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp is working on a change to its iPhone app that will make it more obvious to people when their friends have posted an updated Status. The change is currently available to those who are part of the WhatsApp beta program, but will likely be rolled out to everyone in due course.

While the WhatsApp Status feature is similar to Instagram Stories, it's one that isn't used anywhere near as much. That might be why the instant messaging outfit seems keen to make the feature more accessible, likely to help drive its use. Now, WABetaInfo reports that a new beta changes things so that new Status updates appear in the regular chat feed, making them easier to spot. A similar change has already been made to the latest desktop beta version of the app.

WhatsApp is planning to introduce the same feature on iOS at a later date. This is not so surprising: WhatsApp is used to developing the same feature for all their platforms, and probably there will be news about WhatsApp beta for Android very soon. But… how does it work? When the feature will be released and someone from your contacts list publishes a status update, it will also be visible right within the chats list without opening the Status tab. At the moment, even muted status updates are highlighted in the chats list, but this may be temporary: since this feature is under development and has not been rolled out yet, WhatsApp may change the way the feature works before the release.

Whatsapp Beta Chat List With Status Updates

Whatsapp Beta Chat List With Status Updates (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

Here's how WhatsApp describes the underused Status feature:

Status allows you to share text, photo, video, and GIF updates that disappear after 24 hours, and that is also end-to-end encrypted. In order to send and receive status updates to and from your contacts, you and your contacts must have each other's phone numbers saved in your phones' address books.

WhatsApp is among the best iPhone apps for people who need to stay in touch with friends and family who use Android devices and Windows PC hardware, but the Status update feature isn't a main one for users. WhatsApp will be hoping that changes following this update.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.