In the last couple of months, WhatsApp added a couple of new features to its beta channel for some final user testing, and now those features are deemed ready for the prime time. There's a picture-in-picture mode for video calls and the ability to set text only, self-destructing status updates.
You can see the full changelog for stable version 2.17.323 below:
• Now you can post text-only updates to your status and they'll be visible for 24 hours. Just tap the pencil icon in the Status tab, type what you'd like, and pick a background color or font of your choice.
• When in a video call, you can tap back to continue the video call in picture-in-picture mode (Android 8.0+).
The text-only updates, which can also include link previews for URLs, show up in the status tab and will disappear after 24 hours. It's kind of an amalgamation of Facebook and Snapchat's statuses, I suppose. Picture-in-picture mode will only work on devices running Android 8.0 as it's a feature specific to Oreo. WhatsApp joins other apps like Duo and YouTube in showing PIP video while you do other things.
Updating to the latest stable version will enable the new features, or you can install it manually after downloading it from APKMirror.