WhatsApp is well known for the pace of its updates – users have recently received emoji reactions to play with, for example – and it looks like another significant change is on the way.
As noted by good folks at WABetaInfo (opens in new tab)the latest beta version of the whatsapp app for android features code that suggests that you will soon be able to post voice messages as your status for your contacts to hear.
The feature isn’t out yet, not even for beta testers – but a screenshot shared by WABetaInfo shows a microphone button next to the text, photo and video options that currently exist for setting your status.
Right now, you can send a voice note or an audio file within a WhatsApp conversation, but you can’t share them more widely with your contacts in bulk. This would change once the new feature starts rolling out.
WhatsApp’s status function has now evolved to become similar to the stories feature on Snapchat and Instagram: you post a line of text, an image or a short video and it’s visible to people you’re connected with for 24 hours. You can, if you wish, show your status only to a selected number of your contacts.
These time limits and privacy settings would likely also apply to voice status updates, although it’s not yet known exactly how they would be shown within the app. Watch this space for an official announcement about the feature.
Analysis: All the time
Even for the casual observer, WhatsApp is busier than most apps when it comes to stacking the new features on top of each other – whether it’s more comprehensive controls for group chat admins, or tweaked settings for last seen status. .
It has grown from a basic messaging app to being more like a social media platform in its own right, and being able to set your status is a big part of that. It’s not quite the Facebook feed, but it’s getting closer.
WhatsApp has managed to take advantage of the shift from public to private sharing: many of us are now more likely to share photos with a limited number of people within a WhatsApp group than to put them in an app like Instagram.
And that’s okay with Meta (formerly Facebook), of course: it’s keen to get its hands on as much of its data and app time as possible, and WhatsApp’s ever-longer list of features is likely to draw even more users to it. .