The instant photo and video sharing app Snapchat took over the market by a storm because of a simple idea – temporary image sharing. Then, Instagram copied Snapchat and launched disappearing photos and Instagram Stories and has been getting good at it.
Finally, Facebook-owned WhatsApp too is getting into this business with WhatsApp Status – a new feature to share temporary photos and videos with friends and contacts in your phone. With a motive to let people know what is up with you, WhatsApp Status will try to reinvent the way you connect with others.
Jan Koum, CEO and Founder – WhatsApp, wrote in a blog post, “We are excited to announce that, coinciding with WhatsApp’s 8th birthday on February 24, we are reinventing the status feature. Starting today, we are rolling out an update to status, which allows you to share photos and videos with your friends and contacts on WhatsApp in an easy and secure way. Yes, even your status updates are end-to-end encrypted.”
The app has been rolling out to users in Europe right now, but will soon come to other countries as well. All leading operating systems – iOS, Android and Windows will get the update in the coming few days.
What’s new in the app?
This brings in a new UI for the app as well. The status updates, just like Snapchat and Instagram, will disappear after 24 hours. You can choose to control who can view your status updates from the privacy settings.
There will be a specific ‘Status’ tab instead of it being tucked into the settings panel. Video call tab will also be made more prominent because the company has been pushing for it. The overall feel of the app remains pretty much the same.
Because WhatsApp has primarily been a messaging service, you can still send media directly through your friends through your chat conversations. However, just take Status as an Instagram Story for your messenger. It looks and feels exactly like that and even offers similar emojis, tools and stickers to help you express better.
WhatsApp has over 1.2 billion users now, and a Status like feature, although limited to friends and contacts, can still be used for advertisements, since WhatsApp has been a free service for long now.
Now everything seems to have been built into Instagram and WhatsApp, which is making it a bigger threat for Snapchat. Instagram has nearly cloned Snapchat and WhatsApp has taken over other messaging platforms, which proves Facebook’s dominance in this industry.
"WhatsApp Officially Unveils ‘Status’ to Share Encrypted Temporary Photos and Videos!",