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WhatsApp unveils major new update with ‘number one feature users want’

WhatsApp announced new features for its messaging app on 7 February, 2023 (Getty Images/ iStock)
WhatsApp announced new features for its messaging app on 7 February, 2023 (Getty Images/ iStock)

WhatsApp has announced that the “number 1 feature users want” will be rolling out to the messaging app over the coming weeks.

The new update relates to the Status feature, which was first introduced to the world’s most popular messaging app in 2017. It offers similar functionality to apps like Instagram Stories and Snapchat by allowing users to provide updates to their WhatsApp contacts.

The status can be shared as a photo, video, gif or text and disappears after 24 hours, however the latest upgrades will also allow users five new options.

The most requested was status reactions that allow users to respond to the statuses of their friends, family and other contacts in a similar way to standard messages.

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“We’re adding status reactions to provide a quick and easy way to respond to status updates from your friends and close contacts,” a WhatsApp blog stated.

“This was the #1 feature users wanted, following the launch of Reactions last year. You can now quickly reply to any status by swiping up and tapping on one of eight emojis.”

WhatsApp news site WaBetaInfo noted that the new features will be available with the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and Desktop.

Other features included in the latest WhatsApp update include a private audience selector to choose who can view a status, profile rings to make it easier to see who has posted a new status, and the ability to record or share a 30 second voice message as a Status.

The final update is a new visual preview of the content of a link when it is posted as a status. The Status feature can be found in the app alongside ‘Chats’ and ‘Calls’.

“These updates have started rolling out to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks,” WhatsApp said. “We look forward to people enjoying these new status features soon.”