WhatsApp could get a handy design change to help you catch up with your friends' updates

WhatsApp on smartphone
WhatsApp continues to tweak its interface (Image credit: Anton/Pexels)

When it comes to the most-used features in WhatsApp, Stories are unlikely to be too high up the list – but the temporary photo and video posts format that Meta yanked from Snapchat for its own products are set to get some attention in a coming update.

As spotted by the ever-diligent WABetaInfo (via Android Authority), the beta version of WhatsApp for Android now includes a refreshed design for the Updates tab, which is where users can view any Stories they haven't yet seen.

The new look would present these unseen Stories – or Status Updates, in official WhatsApp parlance – with larger thumbnails at the top of the tab, with a preview of the first one. Less prominence would be given to the usernames underneath.

Essentially, it would make it easier for you to catch up with everything you haven't yet seen, and flick through the available Stories without necessarily opening them – handy if you've got a lot of friends and family posting updates.

Coming soon?

WhatsApp Status Updates screen in beta

How the new thumbnails look (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

The usual caveats apply here, in that this is a beta version of WhatsApp, and there's no guarantee that the feature will see the light of day on Android or iOS. It's possible that WhatsApp's developers will decide not to roll out the update in the end.

Right now it's not clear exactly when this feature might make its way to the stable version of WhatsApp that most people are using. It also remains to be seen whether the updated interface would be optional or something that everyone gets, whether they like it or not.

If you already have WhatsApp installed on your Android phone or iPhone, you can open up the Updates tab to see new Stories from the individuals and the channels that you're connected to, whether or not you've interacted with them recently.

You can create a new status update yourself from the same screen. Stories can also be accessed from the main chat tab, though if there are people lower down the list that you haven't chatted to recently, you might miss their updates.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.