Apparently, Facebook is not done with copying Snapchat—the Snapchat cloning is real after all! We already have an Instagram version of Stories, and now WhatsApp is adding its own version called ‘Status.’
On Monday, WhatsApp became the latest app owned by Facebook to roll out a feature similar to Snapchat’s Stories. Status lets you share photos and videos in a message format for up to 24 hours before it disappears. Spot any difference between this new feature and that of Snapchat or Instagram? Maybe a little difference, but they are pretty similar in terms of the fact that they both disappear after 24 hours.
The launch, which coincides with WhatsApp’s 8th anniversary, will further send a clear message to more than 1.2 billion people using the app that there is more to it than chatting.
Announcing the new feature on Monday, WhatsApp founder, Jan Koum said:
“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.”
Status is much like Snapchat’s or Instagram’s Stories, and is aimed at letting users share multiple updates every day. Each of the instances of status has a 24-hour lifespan, and can be shared with all your contacts on WhatsApp or with select people. You can locate it [Status] under a “Status” tab on WhatsApp, sitting in the middle of existing “Chats” and Calls tabs.
A few users spotted Status sometimes in November, with some blog expert suggesting that the feature could be launched along with upcoming updates. Well, Status has been launched and is now available to every user of the app, first in Netherlands and France beginning today, then to users in the U.K., Spain, Italy, Israel and Saudi Arabia before the end of the week.
Status has opened up an avenue for WhatsApp to make money through selling of ads, but the company’s product manager, Randall Sarafa waved aside that possibility in a chat with Recode:
“We’re not adding ads to WhatsApp, and we don’t have plans to do that.”
On claims of imitation and copying a feature known to have been introduced first by Snapchat; Sarafa said, per the New York Times that:
“We build things because we really hope people will want to use them even more. We don’t really think about building things for other reasons.”
Talking about copying, Facebook launched a Snapchat-like feature called Masks in October. Masks was launched during last year’s Halloween, but only made available to limited number of users at the time.
Back in August, Instagram launched its own version of Stories, and had since gone several steps further to improve and add some nice features to make it look and feel different.
We would love to hear from you—tell us how you see Status and if you think it will be anyway better than Snapchat’s or Instagram’s Stories.