WhatsApp, once a simple messaging platform, has evolved significantly over the years under the ownership of Meta. The messaging app now offers a wide range of features that blur the lines between a messaging platform and a social media app. In its latest update, WhatsApp has introduced a reply bar for status updates, drawing inspiration from Instagram Stories.
The Rollout of the Reply Bar
WhatsApp has reportedly rolled out a reply bar feature for status updates to beta testers on both Android and iOS devices. The reply bar, similar to the one found in Instagram Stories, appears at the bottom of status updates, making it easier for users to respond. Previously, users had to swipe up on a status update to reply using text or emojis. The dedicated reply bar allows users to type their responses directly. The feature is currently available to some beta testers through the WhatsApp beta for iOS 184.108.40.206 update from the TestFlight app, and the WhatsApp beta for Android 220.127.116.11 update from the Google Play Store. It is expected to be released to a wider user base in the near future.
A screenshot shared in a WABetaInfo report showcases the reply bar feature in action, displaying a response bar at the bottom of a status update. By eliminating the need to swipe up, the reply bar streamlines the process of interacting with status updates. Furthermore, the visual design of the reply bar closely resembles the one seen in Instagram Stories. WhatsApp’s integration with other Meta platforms, such as Facebook, has been evident in recent updates, including the option to share WhatsApp statuses on Facebook. The addition of a reply bar further solidifies this integration.
WhatsApp is actively working on additional features to enhance user experience and privacy. One upcoming feature will allow users to share their WhatsApp statuses on Instagram, expanding the reach of their updates. Additionally, the messaging platform is developing a search feature that enables users to find others on the app using their usernames. This eliminates the need to share phone numbers with strangers, enhancing privacy and security on the platform. The introduction of a Telegram-style search by username feature is a forward-thinking move that sets WhatsApp apart from its competition.
WhatsApp’s evolution from a simple messaging app to a multi-functional platform continues with the introduction of the reply bar feature for status updates. By drawing inspiration from Instagram Stories, WhatsApp aims to provide users with a seamless and familiar experience across Meta’s social platforms. With upcoming features like status sharing on Instagram and username search, WhatsApp demonstrates its commitment to enhancing user privacy and connectivity.