Facebook Messenger, how the new automatic statuses work

The Auto Status already present on Instagram are ready to arrive on Facebook Messenger. News also regarding the privacy of users: here's what changes

After Instagram, now also Facebook Messenger: the Auto Status seems to be about to arrive on the instant messaging service connected to the blue social. There is no official news, but there are strong rumors to confirm it and some screenshots unearthed by the well-known leaker Jane Manchun Wong. However, the release date of this new feature is not clear.

The Auto Status has already appeared on Instagram (or rather on Threads) in October 2019, collecting positive reviews, but also causing several concerns about the privacy of users who use it. Probably also for this reason, even before officially releasing Auto Status on Messenger, Facebook officially announced new features to manage its data on both the social network and Instagram. Nothing exciting, let's be clear, but an extra bit of transparency within the privacy options already offered by the two social networks.

What are Auto Status

Auto Status, or automatic statuses, means what we've already seen on Instagram: the app watches us do things and sets our status accordingly by itself. The practical expression of all this, on Facebook Messenger, will be an emoji that describes what we're doing: a car if we're driving, an electric plug if the smartphone is almost empty, sushi if we're at a Japanese restaurant, a nice bicep if we're at the gym. Of course, to understand what we are doing and set the status by itself, the Messenger app must have access to all the functions of our smartphone: accelerometer and GPS in primis.

In exchange for this continuous data collection throughout the day, Messenger will tell our closest contacts (the choice will be up to us) via the emoji what we are doing. What's the point? To let others know that we can not respond to a message because we are doing something else. From the point of view of privacy it should be noted that if we are at the gym (or any other type of business) will not be communicated in which gym nor our precise geographical location.

Privacy: new features on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook has also announced a more effective management of privacy on both the Facebook app and Instagram. In the "Download your information" section of the former and the "Download data" section of the latter, it will now be possible to download more information collected by the Facebook group. On its official blog, Facebook states that this novelty has been introduced to make the two socials more compliant with European privacy regulations (the famous GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The description of what information will actually be communicated to users, however, is quite vague.