WhatsApp has updated its text-only 'status' feature to include images and video.
(CCM) — WhatsApp is launching a salvo directly at Snapchat with the introduction of its beefed-up "Status" feature. "Status" appears to be a Snapchat "Stories" clone, and it is the latest example of Facebook — owner of WhatsApp — emulating Snapchat in an apparent attempt to poach the photo-sharing service's users. WhatsApp's "Status" now allows users to share photos, GIF images and videos as a status update which is available for 24 hours before disappearing. These status updates are encrypted end-to-end on the WhatsApp network. Although this is essentially a new feature, Jan Koum, WhatsApp's CEO, is touting it as a "WhatsApp 8th birthday" update to the original "Status" feature in WhatsApp which allowed users to set their status to "Available", "Busy", and various other messages.
Previous examples of Facebook appearing to copy Snapchat include Instagram introducing a "Stories" feature which was an almost direct copy of Snapchat's "Stories", and December's Messenger revamp which saw it emphasizing the sending of photographs, like Snapchat. But Randall Sarafa, a WhatsApp product manager, denies that the company is deliberately emulating Snapchat. “We build things because we really hope people will want to use them even more,” he told the New York Times. “We don’t really think about building things for other reasons.” In 2013 Facebook offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion.
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