WhatsApp Begins Rolling Out Snapchat-like Photo and Video “Status”
WhasApp is celebrating its 8th birthday on February 24th. What started off in 2009 as a simple application to let people “what’s up” with you has now become a very big player in the Instant Messaging space. The app has ballooned in popularity in developing countries where SMS continues to cost a bomb, but where cheap 2G and 3G data flourishes.
WhatsApp’s original functionality of basic text-only status updates continued unchanged for the past several years, with new expansions adding new features rather than fundamentally changing the user experience. Today, they have announced a refresh of the “Status” functionality, bringing to its 1 Billion+ users (as of February 2016) options to share photos and videos with “friends and contacts” on WhatsApp in an easy way. In its announcement post, WhatsApp mentions that status updates are end-to-end encrypted too. While not stated in the blog post, photo and video updates expire in 24 hours.
The media status functionality is not only a tribute to the app’s original functionality, it is also a sign of Facebok’s influence over the IM app space. Facebook-owned Instagram also introduced its own version of temporary media updates in the form of Instagram Stories, while Facebook itself is testing out Facebook Stories in its mobile app. The focus on such temporary social updates can be seen as an effect of the competition brought on by Snapchat, the app whose entire functionality revolves around time-limited personal media.
It is not immediately clear how Facebook has implemented privacy settings We reckon that not all users would like to share personal media updates to all of their contacts all the time. So having some form of granular control, outside of removing a contact entirely from your phonebook or blocking them, would be necessary.
What are your thoughts on the new status update? Have you received the new feature? How does it compare to temporary status functionality in other apps? Let us know in the comments below!Source: WhatsApp Blog