Where Instagram is shoving photos of users you don’t follow down your throat, WhatsApp will soon try to saddle you with Status messages. The Stories-like functionality will be given a more prominent place within the app. Good news or a bad idea? WANT editor Mark Hofman grabs the flashlight and shines his light on the issue.
I was not a fan of Meta as a company, but genuinely enjoyed applications like Instagram and WhatsApp. Regarding the former, however, the enjoyment seems to be getting less and less and the annoyance greater. The reason? Meta is going in a completely different direction with it. Something it now clearly wants to do with that second app as well.
Stories between your WhatsApp conversations
In 2017, WhatsApp users were introduced to a new functionality: Status. Through it, it is possible to share photos and videos of a few seconds with your contacts. Sounds familiar, as the Instagram Stories functionality does exactly the same. However, where the latter grew into a huge success, these two have had less impact. Put it bluntly, none.
Although the percentage of users using the feature remained low, WhatsApp is sticking with Status. In fact, according to WABetaInfo, the company will soon release a new update that will make them even more prominent. Whereas the photos currently only appear in their own tab, soon they will also pop up within your chats.
Once users publish a Status message, a blue circle will show up around the profile picture within Chats. Similar to Instagram, this is the sign that someone has posted a Status. You press on the profile picture and then get to see the message.
More like Instagram: good news or bad idea?
It’s quite remarkable how strongly WhatsApp sticks to its Status feature. In the past five years, I’ve rarely seen a message go by. The only thing I really remember is that once my mother had accidentally put a picture in her status that she actually wanted to send to me. It may be down to my circle, but I don’t feel that Status has a prominent place in our daily WhatsApp usage.
On that note, I think pushing such a feature is actually a very bad idea. Meta always had a hand in it, but now seems to be pushing even more features down our throats. For example, look at the way Instagram works anno 2022. The only difference between WhatsApp and that app is that you can turn off the Status function. At least, within your Chats then. But exactly how long that will remain in place is the question….