WhatsApp's New Status Features Take Notes From Instagram's Playbook

The messaging app rolls out Status features that mimic Instagram's Stories features.

Nina Raemont Writer
A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Nina started at CNET writing breaking news stories before shifting to covering Security Security and other government benefit programs. In her spare time, she's in her kitchen, trying a new baking recipe.
Nina Raemont
2 min read
James Martin/CNET

WhatsApp debuted a handful of new Status features on Tuesday that people can use on the Meta-owned secure messaging app

Status on WhatsApp is similar to Instagram Stories, letting people share photos, videos and more for 24 hours before disappearing. The new features appear to borrow from Instagram, which is also owned by Meta. 

The Status updates include a private audience selector (similar to Instagram Close Friends Stories) that lets WhatsApp users choose who can view their Status instead of sending it out to everyone on their contact list, because sometimes an update simply isn't meant for everyone to see. 

There's a voice status feature for when you'd rather talk your status out instead of typing it -- you can share voice messages of up to 30 seconds. WhatsApp also rolled out Status reactions that people can use by swiping upward on a person's Status and choosing one of eight emojis to send as a reaction. 

Now when you use the app you will see Status rings around your profile and your contacts' profiles, and these rings will be visible in chat lists, group participant lists and a user's contact information, Meta said. 

Last, WhatsApp introduced link previews on Statuses, which give people a visual preview of the link's content when you post it through your Status. 

Updates have begun rolling out globally and will be available for widespread use in the coming weeks. 

For more, here's a guide to the best secure messaging apps you should be using, how to download WhatsApp's desktop app and how you can be sneaky while using WhatsApp.