Two years ago, Whatsapp launched its story-based status feature to stay ahead of its competitors. The instant messaging app copied the status feature from Snapchat. The Status feature on Whatsapp has grown in popularity, riding on the number of users on the messaging platform.
Currently, the status feature on Whatsapp shows updates from family, friends, and all contacts in the reverse chronological order with the most recent one showing first even the contacts you hardly interact with. While you can mute status updates from people you don’t really care about, WhatsApp realised that they needed to update their feature to retain a sense of relevancy to the Status update list.
According to Mashable, WhatsApp is testing a new feature where the upcoming status feature is going to sort the updates based on whom the user interacts the most. Whatsapp is already testing out this feature with a few iPhone users in India, Spain and Brazil.
Once, the test run is successful the instant messaging platform plans on rolling this feature out to Android and Windows user. This new algorithmic sorting will be determined through a variety factor like whose statuses you view frequently, whom you message frequently etc that WhatsApp will retain this information, collect it and send it out of WhatsApp’s servers. Your preferences will be saved as a part of backups.
Algorithm-based sorting or changes have never been Facebook’s forte. Facebook has been often criticised for trying to change sorting preferences, whether it be on Facebook or Instagram. So, it will be interesting to watch how Whatsapp users react to the upcoming changes.
Apart from algorithm-driven Status listing, WhatsApp is also going to bring advertisementsto the section. The feature, however, may not be rolled out immediately.
“…So WhatsApp, we don’t have ads in Stories. It’s not available. Ads are something that’s more of a future thing for WhatsApp. We remain very focused on the consumer experience there. We do have the WhatsApp Business app, which is helping businesses connect with consumers, and that’s growing well but that monetisation opportunity is not available,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said last month.