WhatsApp is found to be testing rich link previews for text status updates. At present, links shared on WhatsApp statuses appear as plain URL text, without showing any additional elements to preview details about the webpage it is referring to. The instant messaging app is apparently making a major change on that front by testing rich link previews. WhatsApp is also seen to be working on a new text status update interface for Android users that would be introduced for the masses at a later stage.
According to a report by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo, the instant messaging app owned by Meta has been spotted testing rich link previews for text status updates that will allow users to look at the webpages elements without tapping on them.
WABetaInfo has shared a screenshot that is said to be taken from a WhatsApp for iOS beta version. However, WhatsApp may also soon start testing the same experience on Android and desktop.
Exact details on when rich link previews on WhatsApp status updates will be available to regular users are yet to be revealed. The update has also yet been available to beta testers on iOS. Nevertheless, historical records of the app suggest that the update may initially be limited to beta testers for some time, though.
Back in 2017, WhatsApp introduced rich link previews on chats. It updated the experience as users started seeing a preview of the link, without requiring them to tap on it.
WhatsApp has also started testing the new text status update interface for Android users. WABetaInfo reports that the update is coming to WhatsApp for Android beta 18.104.22.168. It moves the emoji, text, and background colour selector options from the bottom-left side of the screen to top right. This is identical to WhatsApp for iOS where you have all these options on the top-right side.
The updated interface also brings a redesigned caption view that WhatsApp was seen testing for Android users in April. It highlights the recipients of your status updates and lets you change the audience for your particular status from all contacts to selective ones. You can tap the caption view button to make that change.
WhatsApp is currently testing the new text status updates interface with some beta testers. If you have not yet seen the update on your beta release, you may need to wait for some more days to let WhatsApp roll out the changes on your Android device.