Whatever smartphone you have, there’s a very high chance you use WhatsApp. The cross-platform messaging app connects billions of people all over the world – all you need is a data plan.

In February 2017 it announced a new feature called WhatsApp Status, a feature similar to the main feature in Snapchat, and Instagram’s Stories mode.

Despite the fact that the photo-based status feature initially replaced the old fashioned text status, an uproar from users has forced WhatsApp to bring the feature back. The feature is currently available within the WhatsApp for Android beta, but the company has said it'll be rolling out to both Android and iOS over the coming weeks. It won't remove the new WhatsApp Status though, as the new text statuses will be found within the about section of profiles. 

WhatsApp Status: What is WhatsApp Status?

WhatsApp touts the feature as a radical upgrade to the original Status idea in the app. In fact, for a few months in 2009 when it launched, you could only have a status in WhatsApp – messaging was not part of the offering at first! You were simply ‘Available’ or ‘at the movies’ and so on.

Nowadays, our smartphones are multimedia hubs, so it makes sense that Statuses are now picture based – even if it whiffs a bit of copying others. 

WhatsApp has started rolling out the update worldwide, so if you don’t have it now, you will soon.

Here’s how to post and view a WhatsApp Status.

See also: Top 10 WhatsApp tips

WhatsApp Status: How to post a WhatsApp Status

On iPhone, the bottom row of options has changed. The far left tab is now ‘Status’ instead of ‘Favourites’ and the centre icon is now ‘Camera’ instead of ‘Contacts’. The Camera button just allows you to send a photo or video to a contact quicker, it’s not the new feature.

To take and send a status, tap on Status in the lower left of the app. This screen is where all your contacts' Statuses will be displayed. Each disappears after 24 hours.

First tap the + icon in the top right of the screen:

You can then take a photo with a tap, or hold to take a video. Hopefully something more interesting than porridge:

Once you've found something to set as your status, you can take the picture (or shoot the video!), then WhatsApp gives you the option to add a caption, text, emojis, GIFs and more. Once you're done, hit the blue paper aeroplane icon to send:

 

Once you've sent, all of your contacts can view your Status by tapping Status, where all their contacts' posts will appear under 'Recent Updates'. They will see the screen below:

Here, by tapping on 'Henry' they will see my Status picture:

Read on to see how to limit who sees your posts, and how to delete them.

WhatsApp Status: How to change who can see WhatsApp Status

You can also set different privacy settings if you want to limit who can see your Status. 

If you tap Status, then Privacy in the top left of the screen, you will arrive here:

You can set it to share with all your contacts, all contacts except those you block, or the third option to share with just a select few.

That's it! The more Statuses you make, the more they add to your feed of photos and videos. Each will expire 24 hours after posting, an option you can't change. 

WhatsApp Status: How to delete a WhatsApp Status

If you want to delete your Status, tap Status in the bottom left of WhatsApp, then tap My Status at the top of the screen. Your Status will display with an eye icon at the bottom of it with the number of people who have viewed it (mine, predictably, was 0):

You then simply tap the bin icon, and delete. Phew. 

You can also tap the arrow next to the bin to send the Status directly to a specific contact.