The ‘Status Unavailable’ error that plagued Whatsapp through yesterday, seems to have been fixed now. Those who spotted the error yesterday, have confirmed that they can now view the status messages as before, expressing relief. 

Over the past few days, the popular messaging service hit a rough patch, after several users complained of being unable to view the status updates of their contacts, and shared that they could instead see a “Error: Status Unavailable” message. Barely did this issue come to the fore, that another set of users came forth with complaints of being bombarded with messages – some telling them the service would soon be a paid one, and that if users wished to continue using it for free, they should forward this message to 18 contacts on their list. There were others that came in with a string of emoticons, asking the recipient to forward it to 11 of his contacts to activate a new version of Whatsapp. 

One of the newer messages that a colleague received

One of the many hoax messages doing the rounds

These messages found their way to many, many inboxes and it resulted in complete chaos. One of the messages read –

“Hello everyone, it seems that all the warnings were real, the use of WhatsApp cost money from summer 2012. If you send this string to 18 different on your list, your icon will be blue and will be free for you. If you do not believe me see tomorrow at 6 pm ending WhatsApp and have to pay to open it, this is by law This message is to inform all of our users, our servers have recently been very congested, so we are asking your help to solve this problem. We require our active users forwarded this message to each of the people in your contact list to confirm our active users using WhatsApp, if you do not send this message to all your contacts WhatsApp, then your account will remain inactive with the consequence of losing all their contactsMessage from Jim Balsamic (CEO of WhatsApp) we have had an over usage of user names on whatsapp Messenger. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message, we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or WhatsApp will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to re-activate your account after it has been deleted, a charge of 25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the Whatsapp team” WhatsApp is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user i.e. you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (2 ticks) and your WhatsApp logo should turn Red to indicate a frequent user. Am sorry had no option! And check now the status of every individual contact is showing : Status : error.”

Irate users took to popular social networking sites expressing their irritation over being bombarded with these messages by their contacts, while those who have been spared the hoax messages are expressing relief. Another good reason to rubbish these messages as hoax is a blog post (which although came out way earlier, deals with the same message) on WhatsApp that clarifies all doubts.

In an official blog post, Whatsapp clarified that there was no truth in the messages being circulated and that the service would remain like it has been. As for the status unavailable error, the popular messaging service acknowledged on its Twitter and Facebook accounts that the status functionality is not working and will be resolved soon. The best way to deal with such messages is to ignore them altogether and remain calm; there's no need to panic. Also, do not consider these to be legitimate. 

While it does seem that the issue has been fixed, do let us know if you’re still facing a problem.

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