The New WhatsApp Feature That's Already More Popular Than Snapchat

Photo: Rockie Nolan
Social networks are branching out from careful curation and are embracing ephemerality – big time. Snapchat led the way, of course, with its Stories that disappear after 24 hours and kooky filters. Then came the wildly popular Instagram Stories (how did we ever manage without it?), and now even Facebook Stories is a thing (nah, we’ve not tried it either).
But, did you know, WhatsApp also has a similar feature? WhatsApp Status launched in February and already has 175 million daily users, according to Mark Zuckerberg, who owns the messaging app. That means it’s already bigger than Snapchat itself – so it’s about time you gave it a try if you haven’t already.
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What is WhatsApp Status?
WhatsApp Status lets you post photos, videos and those all-important GIFs, which disappear after 24 hours, with people whose phone numbers you have saved in your phone contacts.
How do I access it and post a Status?
Make sure you’ve got the latest version of WhatsApp. In the bottom left-hand corner it should say Status. Then, tap the icon in the top right-hand corner to take a new photo or video, or choose an existing one (crucially, you can add captions, emoji, text or drawings on top). Once you’re happy, simply hit the send button.
How do I view someone else’s status?
Your contacts’ statuses will automatically show up on the Status screen. You can give them feedback by tapping Reply at the bottom of the screen.
Is my Status private?
Only people who are saved in your phone’s address book can see your Statuses and you can even pick and choose which of your contacts can and can’t see them. On the Status screen, tap Privacy and choose who you can see your updates.
How do I delete a Status?
Having second thoughts about posting that vid of you grinding up against nightclub security? Want it gone before your mum stumbles on it? Luckily, you can get rid of Statuses before the 24 hour period is up. Simply tap the three dots next to the My Status button, select the Status you want to delete and hit the dustbin icon.
Can I mute someone's Status?
To hide updates from that annoying "friend" you haven't seen for five years, simply go to the Status screen, tap and hold their status update and tap Mute. If you want to start hearing from them again, just go to the Status screen, scroll down to see your Muted statuses, top and hold their update and tap Unmute.
Granted, it may be no Insta Stories, but WhatsApp Status might just be the easiest way to stop those meme screenshots from clogging up your phone and finally put them to good use.
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