The messaging platform WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook announced an overhaul of its status feature which allows users to share their status in form of videos,pictures and GIFs. The feature was beta tested by users in November last year and became available on iOS,Android and Windows on February 24. Everyone recognizes the new feature from Snapchat Stories. WhatsApp Status comes with end-to end encryption and ensures that the status disappears withn 24 hours of being set. There an option to which allows uses to control who sees their status.
“The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you’re up to. This was months before we added messaging,” said CEO Jan Koum in a blog post. “Even 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.”
Facebook, which acquired Whatsapp in 2014, also famously tried to buy Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion. Since then it has integrated Snapchat-like sharing capabilities in its platforms. It introduced a virtually identical feature into Instagram last year with Instagram Stories, a move which was declared its ‘most brazen act of Snapchat cloning yet’ by tech website The Verge. Facebook Messenger also rolled out a new in-app camera, complete with filters and stickers, for Snapchat-style selfies in December.
Forbes noted that Facebook could finally monetize the app now. Advertising may feature on statuses, and businesses may directly send messages to their target audiences on WhatsApp itself. WhatsApp’s $1.2 billion users send more than 50 billion messages across the world each day, so the scope for advertising is immense.