For new users, the status messages is pretty much a whole new feature because it is available only on WhatsApp beta for Android, iOS and is expected to arrive on Windows Phones soon.
The stable version of the WhatsApp messenger is yet to receive the update. However, the developer team has been really busy tweaking the status feature and has introduced more customization options to it. The Status works similar to how you update your status on Facebook. The newest beta version suggests that if you choose to disable the Read Recipients option in settings, you will not be able to know who read your status message.
If you have been using the app for a long time, you will know that there is a feature that allows people to know when you were last online. When you choose to disable the feature, people will no longer be able to know your online time but it will also disable your ability to see their last seen online. A similar approach has now been applied on status messages. Anyone who disables read recipient will not be able to know who read their status and if the one who disabled it reads your status, you will not receive any notifications for the same.
There is also an option choose who can view your status messages. You can choose to allow only contacts to view it, select specific people or block specific contacts so that everyone else is able to view it. We are still trying to understand how it actually works because WhatsApp beta version claims that the app should download all status messages in order to display them. Based on your settings, it will download for select contacts when auto download is enabled.
The developers have also planned to add another customization feature that will let you download only images or videos if you are keen on keeping your data usage under control. All PSA Status messages by WhatsAppInc will be downloaded as they usually contain important updates and will be used to convey information to all users at once. Being a company that focuses on privacy, the WABetaInfo Twitter page suggests that WhatsApp team will not use the feature to see who viewed their PSA Status messages or not due to obvious privacy concerns.
In due time, it will be possible to know how interesting and useful the new status feature is. If it’s used widely, it might receive more customization options.