The latest version of WhatsApp is letting users share their status with other apps, including Facebook and Instagram.
Given Facebook owns all three of these, you may wonder if this is the first stage in the company’s plan to unify its properties into a single backend, but apparently that’s not the case, with the company telling The Verge that no account merging is going on.
Instead, the app uses the same Android and iOS’s data-sharing API as any other app, meaning that the two posts actually remain separate things on the Facebook system, despite looking identical to users.
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That makes sense, given the feature also lets you send your status to other non-Facebook apps, including Gmail and Google Photos. It’s potentially a handy feature, given WhatsApp statuses aren’t intended to be stored forever, mimicking the disappearing content made popular by Snapchat. After 24 hours, the status vanishes, so it makes sense that WhatsApp would want to give users an easy way of storing them for posterity.
There isn’t a way to automatically share statuses with other apps, however, and the company told The Verge that this was a very deliberate decision, with it wanting the feature to be “an active decision on the part of the user.” Given the company is facing a great deal of scrutiny over the possibility of the apps being merged from an antitrust level, that’s perhaps not hugely surprising.
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If you want to try sharing your WhatsApp status, you’ll need to be enrolled in the app’s beta program, which gives you a different version of the app to try early. Beta users have previously been given early access to other new features, like the ability to delete sent messages.
Will you be sharing your status between apps? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.