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The biggest Messaging app by user numbers, WhatsApp will introduce “WhatsApp Status” to allow users to share moments with friends and family throughout their day. WhatsApp’s Status will be the following Snapchat-inspired Stories path and will let users post photos, videos and Gifs.
“After we added messaging in the summer of 2009, we kept the basic ‘text only’ status functionality in WhatsApp. Every year, when Brian and I would plan projects to work on, we always talked about improving and evolving this original ‘text only’ status feature,” Koum wrote.
WhatsApp has been testing the feature for beta users since November, and now the Status tab is rolling out worldwide on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Your WhatsApp Status will no longer be an unexciting text message, instead you get to express yourself using a short video which is similar to Instagram Stories, which in turn its development was heavily motivated by Snapchat’s feature of the same name. Now you can share photos, videos, and GIFs as WhatsApp Status updates, which are visible to all your contacts by default. WhatsApp Status updates will disappear after 24 hours.
Sending media to specific friends is still done through message threads. WhatApp will also let people see how many people have viewed their ‘Status’ update story.
In recent years, we’ve seen Instagram and Facebook, making clones of Snapchat Stories. On Facebook Messenger, facades as well as stickers were introduced, another idea inspired from Snapchat.
“The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you’re up to,” CEO Jan Koum writes.
WhatsApp could also open up advertising opportunities for WhatsApp. If the company is to follow Snapchat and Instagram’s lead, it could insert full-screen ads in between friends’ Statuses.
The Facebook-owned messaging app recently launched two-step verification for users on Android, iOS and Windows. It is also reportedly working on a new feature that will allows users in a group chat to broadcast their location to live each other.