WhatsApp does a Snapchat, revamps ‘status’ feature to include photos, videos

The new feature coincides with WhatsApp’s eighth birthday.
WhatsApp does a Snapchat, revamps ‘status’ feature to include photos, videos
WhatsApp does a Snapchat, revamps ‘status’ feature to include photos, videos
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For most of us, WhatsApp is one of the standard ways of remaining in touch with friends, colleagues and family. In the eight years since its inception, the instant messaging app has undergone many changes. And the more recent one is a little less original than you'd think, but just as funky. 

Revamping its status feature, which earlier just contained text, WhatsApp introduced photos and videos too.

The new feature launch coincides with WhatsApp's birthday which falls on February 24. WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum 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."

The status updates will also be end-to-end encrypted, Koum added.

WhatsApp status revamp (left) and Snapchat stories (right)

It essentially works like the 'stories' feature on Snapchat where you can take or upload a picture or a short video, add text and colour and set is as your status. The status stays for 24 hours before disappearing.   

The default option, once you set the status, prompts you to send it to all your contacts. However, this can be customised in the privacy settings.

The new status feature will work for all Android, iPhone and Windows phone users. It can also be updated multiples times a day and like Snapchat stories, each of these updates will be visible to your preferred audience for 24 hours.
WhatsApp Product Manager Randall Sarafa had told Gadgets 360 earlier that the status revamp combines three existing features - broadcast lists, media sharing, and, the status itself.

Your friends can also reply to your status update over chat, which will be visible only to you.

The Facebook-owned messaging app is the second one to copy this Snapchat-like feature. Earlier, Instagram had also introduced a 'stories' feature.

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