WhatsApp rolls back a small design tweak that caused user backlash

WhatsApp rolls back a small design tweak that caused user backlash

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WhatsApp has a habit of tinkering with its design, often rolling out little test changes to small groups of users. One of these recent experiments involved capitalizing the “online” and “typing” status indicators that you would normally see at the top of the chat window. It was a subtle change, but it seems users weren’t thrilled with it, and eventually caused WhatsApp to roll the change back entirely.

As reported by The Independent, WhatsApp admitted this was just a design variation they were testing, but didn’t say how many people were part of the experiment. The company also admitted to now be backtracking on this design choice and ditching the uppercase letters, although also not explaining why they are doing that either. For now, it appears that the familiar lowercase indicators are here to stay.
Turns out, a lot of users disliked the change. Plenty of other chat apps use lowercase indicators, such as Telegram or even Meta’s own Facebook Messenger, which is probably what made WhatsApp’s sudden switch to capitals felt jarring to some. It disrupted the look and feel they were used to, and some even complained the capital ‘O’ in “Online” blended too closely with the profile picture preview.
Whether it was the negative feedback or something else entirely, WhatsApp pulling the plug on this particular experiment should hopefully please the users that found it bothersome. It was a minor change, but sometimes the little things matter, particularly when it’s a chat app as popular as WhatsApp is. Could the uppercase indicators make a comeback? It’s not entirely impossible. But for now, WhatsApp users can breathe a sigh of relief as those familiar lowercase letters are back.



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