You know how all of a sudden your Facebook feed started filling up with status updates that had colorful backgrounds? That might soon start happening on WhatsApp. The feature, which started rolling out to Facebook’s Android users late last year then spread to other platforms a couple of months ago, is now being tested in WhatsApp’s new status screen. Perhaps WhatsApp hopes it will convince people to start using those new statuses more – 99% of my friends don’t bother with them and I’ve heard the same from lots of people.

To try these new colorful text statuses, you have to head into the Status tab and look for the floating pencil button on the bottom right. I don’t have it on my phone even though I’m on the latest 2.17.291 beta version, but our tipster is seeing it on that same version, so it could be a server side switch or it might require you clear app data to show up. I don’t mess with my WhatsApp installation so I’m afraid I can’t test that theory, but do let us know if you manage to make it show doing that.

Status tab shows new pencil floating button (left) and main text status screen (right).

The new colored text status (I don’t know what else to call it) screen has three icons for adding emojis, selecting the font, and changing the background color. After you’ve typed your text and messed with those to find your perfect fit, you tap the green send button to post it as your status.

Adding emojis (left), typing text (middle), and the end result (right).

As I said, this appears to be a server-side test so your mileage may vary on whether or not the feature is live for you. It doesn’t hurt to be on the latest WhatsApp beta (APK Mirror or official Play Store beta program) to make sure the odds of seeing it are in your favor. As for me, I’ll stick to my regular boring text status, thankyouverymuch.

The colorful text status updates are now live in the beta for everyone. You need to be on version 2.17.307 beta to see the pen icon in the Status screen. The nice thing is that you can also put links instead of regular text, and they’re clickable with nifty little previews. Thanks Moshe E, Krishna Joshi.

WhatsApp Messenger

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