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WhatsApp status: what it is and how to use it

What are you eating for lunch right now?
By
October 27, 2022
whatsapp icon google pixel 4 xl

Social media has created an obsession with everyone’s “status” — what are you doing right now? Since Facebook owns WhatsApp, it stands to reason that it wouldn’t take long for the status feature to also make its way to WhatsApp eventually. So what does the WhatsApp status feature look like, and how do you get your breakfast onto it?

First, though, we should explain what a status is. On WhatsApp, it can be a picture or video of what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, or something you’ve seen. It differs slightly from Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories in that the latter two are more feature-rich, including being able to “like” the status/story and leave comments.

Read more: How to use WhatsApp — a step-by-step beginner’s guide

QUICK ANSWER

To see and view someone's WhatsApp status, go to the WhatsApp mobile app and tap on Status at the bottom. If any of your contacts have made a recent status update, it will appear here. Just tap on it to view it. On the desktop and web browser versions of WhatsApp, click the broken circle logo next to your profile picture at the top-left to view someone's status.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to find and view your contact’s WhatsApp status

Open WhatsApp on your phone, desktop app, or web browser. On the mobile app, tap Status at the bottom.

whatsapp mobile status

If you’re using the desktop and web browser versions, click the broken circle icon next to your user profile picture in the top left.

whatsapp desktop status icon

On the Status page, you will now see if anyone has left a status. This is shown under RECENT UPDATES. Just tap the circle to start the status.

whatsapp mobile status updates

A progress bar will move from left to right along the top as the status plays. You’ll be taken back to the WhatsApp status page when it gets to the end. Also, remember that if the status is a video, it’ll be played with muted sound by default. To enable the sound, tap once on the screen.

whatsapp mobile status playing

How to create a WhatsApp status

To create your status, tap on Status at the bottom of the screen. You will now see your WhatsApp profile picture at the top, with the message Add to my status. Tap the camera icon on the right for an image or video-based status. Or the pencil icon for a purely text-based one.

whatsapp mobile my status

I decided to go for an image-based status, so I pointed it at a picture on my office wall and tapped the camera button. Alternatively, if you want to use an image on your camera roll, they appear at the bottom of the screen. Just tap the one you want to use.

A third option is to take a short video. Under the circular button at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see Hold for video, tap for photo.

whatsapp mobile status camera

Once the photo has been taken, you’ll see options in the top-right corner to personalize the status. The first one is to flip the picture around.

whatsapp mobile status picture
Mark O'Neill / Android Authority

The smiley face icon is to insert stickers and emojis. Tap on the one you want.

whatsapp mobile status stickers

I selected a sticker, and it appeared on the screen. You can drag it around with your finger to where you want it to go. If you want to reverse anything, or delete the sticker completely, tap the Undo arrow on the far left.

whatsapp mobile status sticker position

The last two options on the top-right concern what text you’re going to add (if any). Select your color and then start typing. Again, you can drag the text to whatever part of the screen you want.

When you’re finished with the status, tap Status (Contacts) at the bottom to post it.

whatsapp mobile status send to contacts

Your WhatsApp profile picture is now replaced by a circular thumbnail of the status you just created. To watch it, tap on the thumbnail. This circular thumbnail will also appear on the status page of your WhatsApp contacts so that they can watch it too.

whatsapp mobile status my status

How to delete a WhatsApp status

To delete a WhatsApp status, tap on it on the Status page (but not the thumbnail). On the following page, tap the three horizontal dots to the right and select Delete from the dropdown menu.

whatsapp mobile delete status

This page also shows you how many views your status update got, and you can share it with specific contacts.


Read more: WhatsApp not working? Here are ten easy tips to try

FAQs

Twenty-four hours, then it disappears (unless you delete it sooner, obviously).

No, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

There doesn’t seem to be an iPhone solution, but on Android :

  • Download Google Files.
  • Tap on the menu icon at the top left corner of the app.
  • Tap on Settings and toggle on Show hidden files.
  • Go to the File Manager of your device. Then navigate to Internal storage>WhatsApp>Media>Statuses.
  • All the statuses you have viewed will show in this folder. Tap on the desired image or video. Long press on the selected item and save it to your desired location on the device.

Alternatively, see if the contact has synced the status to their Facebook account. You may be able to download it there.

You need to change your privacy settings in advance so your last seen status is not viewable. You can also go offline on the mobile app and watch it, but your contact will be notified once you go online again. A third option is to use WhatsApp Web and view the status update offline in Incognito Mode. But be sure to close the window before reconnecting to the Internet.

WhatsApp says on its Help pages that the maximum length of a status video is 30 seconds.