Facebook's WhatsApp is latest to copy Snapchat-like features

by Edgar Hayes February 21, 2017, 0:22
Facebook's WhatsApp is latest to copy Snapchat-like features

Even Snap Inc considers the mimicry of its features by Facebook and other competitors as potential risks.

Following in the footsteps of Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook-owned WhatsApp today announced the launch of "Status", a new feature that's created to let users share videos, photos, and GIFs that expire each day. While WhatsApp introduces the new feature now, Snapchat had a similar feature called Live Stories since 2014.

The WhatsApp UI has been updated to accommodate the new features. Each status update that can be shared with friends in your contact list disappears after 24 hours.

In their blog post announcing the new feature, WhatsApp also announces that they are encrypting your status' so that it is now end-to-end encrypted, and you won't need to worry about it not being secure. According to WhatsApp, 50 billion messages are sent each day alongside 760 million video and 80 million gifs. It's an exciting change, and you can expect to see it rolling out to users all over the world this week.

WhatsApp is returning back to its roots by launching Status.

The update is rolling out for Windows, iOS and Android users from today and should be available in all the relevant app stores soon. In reality, it seems to more be a move to push non-permanent photo sharing across as many Facebook apps as possible.

"These are things we're seeing people do already", Sarafa said. Although the app has historically been used more for text based messaging with the occasional video or image thrown in to spice up the conversation. Let us know your thoughts in the comments! It wasn't that long ago that WhatsApp was also available on BlackBerry and Windows Phone, although with their market shares having dropped to below 1%, WhatsApp made a decision to cease development and support for those platforms.

It was time to update the product to reflect the way people were using it, Sarafa said. The point is, this app is a big deal even if you aren't using it. "It's a challenge, but it's an especially rich format".


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