While the world is focusing on the current health crisis, and rightly so, Jane Manchun Wong prefers to hunt for unreleased experimental software features. Her latest find is an option in Facebook Messenger that allows people to automatically share status updates with friends and relatives. The feature is supposedly borrowed from a similar functionality in the Facebook-owned Instagram – an option to add a status update to threads and choose the Auto Status feature, which will change the status based on your location, movement, battery level and network connection.According to Jane, a similar feature is in the works for Facebook Messenger. She tweeted a bunch of screenshots showing different parts of the Auto Status interface in Messenger. It’s described as an option to “Let your friends see what you’re up to as you go about your day”
. Apparently, you can also choose specific people who will receive these status updates. Auto Status won’t share your exact location but will describe the place you’re at, like a cafe, restaurant, or a city, showing statuses like “At the beach”, “In Tokyo”, “On the move”
The new feature will allow your friends to get notified when your battery is running low, so they won’t panic if you suddenly go off the grid. Jane got an official comment from EMEA communication manager Alexandru Voica at Facebook, who posted on Twitter:
“We’re always exploring new features to improve your Messenger experience. This feature is still in early development and not externally testing.”
The “still in early development” part means that you probably won’t see Auto Status in your Messenger anytime soon. Nevertheless, the feature will give additional options to users and maybe help with the declining status updates in Facebook Messenger in recent years.