WhatsApp users are getting a great free upgrade

WhatsApp makes it easier to express yourself with some useful new features

WhatsApp February 2023 update
(Image credit: WhatsApp)

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps for iPhones and Android phones alike, and a big part of that popularity is because it's constantly adding new features. The latest batch dropped today, and they're designed to make it easier to express yourself via whatever medium you prefer.

One of the most useful new features is Private Audience Selector, which enables you to update the privacy settings for your status updates on an update-by-update basis – so if you only want a few people to see a particular update, that's easy to set. The feature will remember your most recent setting for your next post, although of course you can change that.

WhatsApp is also improving how people can react to your updates, and how you can react to theirs. The new Status Reactions enable you to respond to status updates by swiping up and tapping on one of the eight available emoji. It's handy for those times that don't really need a full text response. 

What else has WhatsApp added?

The new Voice Status feature enables you to record voice messages of up to 30 seconds and share them as your status updates. WhatsApp reckons this one is ideal for people who prefer to talk rather than type.

There are a few more minor updates too. You'll now see a ring around a contact's profile picture whenever they share a status update, which makes it much easier to see who's been active; the ring will appear in chat lists, group lists and individual users' info too. And now when you post a link on your status you'll see a preview so you can be certain you're sending what you want to send – and your contacts can see the preview too so they know what they're about to click on.

As ever with WhatsApp updates the new features are rolling out to everybody, and while the rollout has already started it may take a week or two before it reaches everybody.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).