WhatsApp seems to want to bring rich link previews to status updates

Plain Text URLs Are So… Simple

The advent of rich link previews for URLs sent over modern messaging apps has made Rickrolling among other malicious acts much harder to do. But when it comes to status updates on WhatsApp, if someone dropped a link in theirs, curious users who clicked on it would only have that URL and faith to continue. That may change soon, however.

WABetaInfo reports of the latest betas for various device clients where WhatsApp is working to generate rich previews for links when shared as part of a text status update.

As this screenshot shows on the iOS version, users will still see the URL as plain text, but it will be accompanied by a card with a header image (if applicable), the title of the site, a description and the URL again. The preview card will only be seen by viewers if the user writing the status update allows a few seconds for it to be generated, which may mean that even if this feature were to officially roll out, all links in status updates wouldn’t get a rich preview card – we’d usually be more cautious tapping on it, but that’s just us.

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The map generally looks the same on the desktop client, if only with a little more free space.

It should be noted that the Android app already generates some form of rich preview for links in text status updates, but not as detailed as seen above. It is expected that these changes will actually make their way to Android at some point.

It seems a little strange that rich link previews haven’t been applied to almost every surface a link can appear on, but we can’t forget that WhatsApp develops and offers features like reactions to messages All at the same time.



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