WhatsApp introduced the revamped Video Status feature a few weeks ago, and users provided mixed feedback over the Snapchat Stories lookalike. Most users wanted the old Text Status feature back, and WhatsApp soon started testing its return in Android beta. The company also later confirmed its arrival last week, and now, the old text Status feature is now available via Google Play and rolling out to all Android users officially, and you can check manually if it’s activated for you or not.
The WhatsApp Text Status feature on the stable version for Android (v2.17.107), will work just in the same way as it was seen on Android beta version 2.17.95.
Click the three-dot menu on the top left, then, head to Settings, and in the About and phone number section you will see the old status option back. It comes with the old default options of ‘Available’, ‘Busy’, ‘At school’, ‘At the movies’, etc, and more importantly does not disappear in 24 hours. Your contact list will be able to see the Status message by opening your contact, when starting a new chat thread, or viewing group info.
As mentioned earlier, all WhatsApp users on Android will only get the feature now; however iPhone users should also get it soon. Also, it may be the rollout is gradual, so you may not see the feature immediately, but it should arrive on your Android device in a few days.
Separately, WhatsApp is also testing the GIF support on Google’s Gboard keyboard app in the latest version of Android beta, Android Police reports. While WhatsApp introduced full-fledged GIF support a while ago, it didn’t work if the user opted to use Google’s Gboard instead of the in-app keyboard. However, in the latest beta, you can search for GIFs, choose one, and send it to a WhatsApp thread using Gboard just like the way you did it with the in-app keyboard.
If you wish to try this feature immediately, you must sign up for the beta program, and be on the latest beta version 2.17.110. Furthermore, you can alternatively download it directly from APK Mirror as well.
While the old Text Status is back, it is important to note that the new WhatsApp Status stories feature isn’t going anywhere and will remain a constant in a separate tab. You can add photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, just like Snapchat. The tab also lists all the new updates from your contacts in the same format as you see on Snapchat. Unfortunately, there’s no way (yet) to disable this WhatsApp feature completely.