WhatsApp is currently testing new interface with ‘Status’ updates tab to the interface after adding a ‘Camera’ tab to the interface along with Video Calling. ‘Status’ updates is not a new addition to WhatsApp and has long existed with the launch of WhatsApp in 2009. But this new addition will introduce sharing images with your contacts for a limited period, just like ‘Stories’ in Instagram and ‘Snaps’ in Snapchat.

WhatsApp Status Snapchat
The new hidden WhatsApp ‘Status’ feature in latest Android Beta

On checking the new user interface, the new ‘Status’ tab will co-exist with the old ‘Status’ section in the Settings Menu. Facebook, the owner of WhatsApp, seems to have introduced the ‘Snaps’ like functionality in all its products, right from Facebook Messenger’s ‘Messenger Day‘ to Instagram’s ‘Instagram Stories‘ to the new ‘Status’ tab in WhatsApp. Earlier the company introduced a Camera Tab to click photographs or record videos and send them to multiple people without leaving WhatsApp or going to individual chat and using the camera icon to the ‘Type a message’ area.

WhatsApp Status Snapchat
Camera Interface to add a new ‘new’ WhatsApp ‘Status’

Currently, the functionality is only available as a hidden feature in the latest WhatsApp public beta for Android and iOS. You will need a rooted Android or a Jailbroken iOS device to enable the hidden functionality. WhatsApp is testing the feature and feedback to implement the UI changes for a wider rollout down the line. One thing to note is that there is no direct way to delete the ‘Status’ images or videos shared in the ‘Status’ tab.

WhatsApp Status Snapchat
Status recipients and ‘Status’ Message info

There are no options to set the timing of the image or video except the app asks you to set ‘Status recipients’ at the beginning. After the initial setup, you can change the recipients of the status using the three dot menu on the top right corner of the app when in the ‘Status’ tab. You can add a new status using the add ‘New Status’ tab on the top right options in the ‘Status’ tab. After clicking the photo or recording the video, you will be presented with a preview screen where you can crop the video or add emoji’s, text overlays, and scribble using the pencil tool on the image or video.

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WhatsApp New Status section along with the old (existing) status section

Facebook is pushing to counter the popularity of Snapchat by replicating the functionality of ‘Snapchats.’ In the limited testing of Instagram ‘Stories,’ the main issue with the implementation is the number of people that are sharing the images, depending in thousands on the number of people that you are following. There is no easy way to manage the long horizontal scroll list of ‘Stories.’

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