WhatsApp's next update could make your status bar actually worth using

(Image credit: Unsplash / Amin Moshrefi)

A new WhatsApp update is in the works that could greatly improve the presence of your status updates on the popular messaging app by adding rich link previews to any link you post in your status bar.

A report from WABetaInfo shows that WhatsApp is working on what looks like a pretty significant update in regards to your profile's status bar. The feature, which has yet to be rolled out to WhatsApp beta testers, is set to upgrade the appearance of links posted in your status bar on Android, iOS, and the desktop app.

Currently, links are displayed in your status updates as plainly as possible, with no preview window to offer any kind of insight as to what the link contains. That's set to change with this upcoming update, which will flesh out links posted in your status updates with a rich link preview showing a thumbnail and a greater amount of info pertaining to where the link will take you.

WABetaInfo created a mock-up image showing the difference between the current appearance of links in your status updates, paired against what they'll look like in the future update:

WhatsApp rich link update preview

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

WhatsApp isn't slowing down

WhatsApp's current run of updates has mostly been pretty impressive, even if many of them are the addition of features the app probably should've already had. Just a couple of weeks ago, the messaging app finally rolled out emoji reactions as part of a chunky update that also boosted file transfer limits up to 2GB, and bumped the maximum group size up to 512 individual users.

And that's a good thing, considering that WhatsApp has certainly lagged behind other popular messaging apps like Discord and Telegram in terms of functionality. Discord, for example, has had emoji reactions for years.

However, WhatsApp does have Discord Nitro (the app's premium subscription service) soundly beat on upload size limits. WhatsApp's 2GB makes Discord's 100MB look relatively meager in comparison. As such, clear improvements over the competition are beginning to appear on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp's made some major strides over the past few months, then, but we, unfortunately, don't know much more about the upcoming status updates. WABetaInfo's report clearly states that the feature is under development, and is in the dark as to when it'll roll out for beta testers to try out.

It's safe to assume that regular WhatsApp users might not see the improvements to the status bar for quite some time as a result. But when it does launch for non-beta users, it just might be enough of a reason to make status updates on WhatsApp actually worth bothering with.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.