WhatsApp Status, an Instagram Stories-like ephemeral sharing feature, may soon let you republish your status directly to a story on Facebook, or send it to an app of your choice.
Beginning today, people on the WhatsApp Beta program will be able to use this feature.
The new sharing option is found beneath your status on WhatsApp, which can be found by tapping your profile picture. Aside from posting a WhatsApp status directly to a Facebook story, you can also send it to another app like Instagram, Gmail or Google Photos.
According to The Verge, the Facebook-owned company insists that the two accounts are not being secretly linked behind the scenes. The social networking behemoth told the publication that it wants the feature to be an active decision on the part of the user.
Even if you share data to another Facebook-owned service like Instagram, WhatsApp says the two posts will be separate events in Facebook’s systems, and they will not be linked. There is also no option to have your WhatsApp status automatically shared to another service.
And why’s this account-linking even an issue?
Recall, if you will, the backlash in 2016 when WhatsApp said that it would start sharing user data with Facebook even though the service promised not to share any data with the dominant social network following its 2014 acquisition deal with Facebook, worth $16 billion.
The European Commission in. 2017 fined Facebook $122 million over account linking.
WhatsApp Status launched back in 2017. The fact that the feature is being used by half a billion people daily wasn’t lost on Facebook: 2020 is the year when the company starts showing ads in WhatsApp, beginning with—you guessed right—the Status feature.