Whatsapp has announced voice status updates. This will allow users to record and share voice notes of up to 30 seconds as their status updates, a feature introduced in 2017 as Whatsapp’s answer to Snapchat and Instagram stories. The update has started rolling out to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.
The feature has been in testing since January 2023 with Whatsapp’s Android and iOS beta testers. According to Whatsapp, voice notes are rather popular on the app, with users sending an average of 7 billion voice messages every day. The new voice status update is a great way to share updates for those who don’t prefer typing or using graphics in their stories.
The company is also making it easy to select a small group of people who can view your status updates. Similar to the ‘close friends’ list on Instagram, Whatsapp will now include a ‘private audience selector’. This lets users quickly select a small group of people to share status updates with, instead of having to go into their privacy settings and hide status updates from everyone but the people they want.
The status update feature has seen a lot of updates since its 2017 launch. Other than the updates mentioned above, the Meta-owned messaging app is also expanding status profile ring availability in addition to status reactions. Both these features are very similar to what Instagram, which is also Meta-owned, offers with its own stories.
Status profile rings show the number of stories in a ring covering a particular contact’s display picture, much like what you’d see on Instagram. Status reactions can be sent by swiping up on a story and selecting from the eight emoji reactions that Whatsapp gives you. With Facebook also getting stories and similar features, it seems like Meta is working on somehow unifying the interface between the three apps and making them more generalised in terms of the overall user experience.
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