WhatsApp is the most used messaging application on the planet, boasting a user base of more than 1.3 billion people from all corners of the globe.
In order to keep these masses happy, WhatsApp brings in new features with almost each update, but not all of them are always welcomed by users of the app. In the current stable version of the app, there’s a new feature that has not gone down well with many out there.
Over time, WhatsApp users have been able to add a text-based “status” to their profile, but this feature was recently changed, where the app wants users to go the Snapchat-way and add a photo or video as their status update, which then disappears after 24 hours. In short, the company wants to increase engagement on the platform by forcing users to frequently update their status after 24 hours or even less, akin to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking platforms.
Well, this seems to be a Facebook influenced-update thanks to the fact that the giant social networking company owns WhatsApp, but as you all know, the customer is always right.
In the latest beta version of the app, the tech giant has brought back the old status update feature, but it is not in its usual place as before. In fact, it has even changed the name to “About”, which also means that the Snapchat-like status is still available for those who fancy it. If you use WhatsApp beta version 2.17.95 and above, you can find the new “About” feature under the app’s Settings. When in there, tap on your profile picture/name and you will see an “About and phone number” section. You should also be able to see your old status there and if you need to change it, just tap on it and a new window will open where you can compose a new status or select from the already available options, just like old times.
How to download and install the latest WhatsApp Beta on your phone
As noted earlier, the old status update can only be accessed by those using the beta version of WhatsApp. This version is not yet available for download or update via the usual Google Play Store channel. However, the search engine giant has a way for you to get this version installed on your phone without going into so many hassles.
Before making your move, keep in mind that beta versions are meant for those who wish to get early access to features and updates before the rest of the world do the same. This means that you’ll be using an app that is still in development and as such, expect a few errors and bugs here and there, but the fact that Google lets you download and install the app means that it is very OK to use it.
To get the latest WhatsApp beta 2.17.97 on your Android phone, head to the Google Play Store and as usual, search for the app by typing “WhatsApp” in the search bar. In the search results, tap on WhatsApp Messenger and from the resulting page, simply scroll down to the bottom of the page. There, you should see a “Become a beta tester” option with an “I’M IN” button. Simply hit this button and you will be enjoying the old status feature a few minutes after. You can also choose to “LEARN MORE”, just in case you are still unsure about what you are getting into.
With this feature still in the beta version, it means that WhatsApp is working to bring it back in the stable version, but we still don’t know when this stable release will be available for direct download via the Google Play Store. It might take weeks before it appears and if you can’t wait, you can always go the beta channel way.
Are you happy that WhatsApp is bringing back the old status feature? Feel free to share your excitement with us in the comments section below.