WhatsApp might have started out as a simple messaging platform, but the app, now owned by Meta, has added multiple features over the years that have brought it closer to being a social media platform, a payments app, a business portal and much more. With features like status updates, channels, and more, WhatsApp resembles a lot more like Meta’s other social platforms. The messaging app is now reportedly replicating yet another feature from Instagram Stories by rolling out a reply bar for status updates on both Android and iOS devices.
According to WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the popular messaging platform has released a reply bar feature for status updates to beta testers on Android and iOS. The reply bar, which shows up at the bottom of status updates, just like the one present on Instagram Stories, is meant to make responding to statuses easier. Currently, WhatsApp users can swipe up on a status update to reply using a text message or emojis. With a dedicated reply bar, however, they could directly type in their responses to status updates.
The feature is reportedly rolling out to some beta testers as part of WhatsApp beta for iOS 220.127.116.11 update from the TestFlight app, and WhatsApp beta for Android 18.104.22.168 update from the Google Play Store. It should release for more users in the coming days.
The WABetaInfo report included a screenshot of the feature, showing a reply bar at the bottom of a status update for quick interaction. The feature would eliminate the need to swipe up on status updates to send in a response. Visually, the reply bar looks near identical to the one present in Instagram stories.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp was spotted working on a feature that would allow users to share their WhatsApp statuses to Instagram. The messaging platform already lets users share WhatsApp statuses on Facebook. The options to share status updates on other Meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram were seen listed together under the Status Privacy tab in WhatsApp settings.
WhatsApp is also said to be developing a feature that would allow searching for other users on the app by their username, thus eliminating the need to share phone numbers with strangers to communicate on the platform. This privacy-focussed Telegram-style search by username feature would help find users by their unique usernames on the app.