I did see the outcry by the users all over the internet and was expecting WhatsApp to come up with a solution. And they are coming back with the old status message. The feature is being tested and will be available in the stable version soon. They have rolled out the feature in the beta version for some users. Just go to Settings ->About ->Phone Number. You should be able to see the option to set the old text status over there.
Please note that the feature has not been rolled out for everyone. It is not yet available for me even when I am a beta tester myself. You may need to wait till the feature is available on the stable version.
Live....and Let Live!