Photo via WhatsApp

WhatsApp adds a Snapchat-like feature called Status

Say goodbye to the old AIM-style status update.

Feb 28, 2020, 4:01 pm*

Tech

Christina Bonnington 

Christina Bonnington

While Snap Inc. focuses its efforts on getting its Spectacles glasses out into the world, its competitors are starting to latch onto Snapchat‘s signature features. Roughly six months after Instagram rolled out Instagram Stories, another Facebook-owned app, WhatsApp, is rolling out its own version of Stories: Status.

Unlike Instagram, however, WhatsApp’s version is not just a new addition to the app, but rather a modern update to its existing AIM-style Status feature. With that in mind, WhatsApp’s update feels more like a necessary tweak to bring the app into 2017, rather than purely a move to copycat a popular competitor.

Launching ahead of WhatsApp’s eighth birthday later this week, in the new Status tab, WhatsApp users can share photos and videos as a customizable stream, rather than solely in individual chats and messages. Using WhatsApp Camera, which debuted in October, you can take a photo or video in the app and gussy it up with emoji, text, or illustrations. Then, you can choose to share your creation with all of your contacts as a Status update. In this tab, you can also view friends and family members’ Statuses, and reply to them privately.

Like the rest of the platform, this media is end-to-end encrypted, so you can rest easy that your photos and videos aren’t being secretly stored or accessed by anyone other than your contacts. You can check out how it works in the video below.

Now that both Instagram and WhatsApp have their own versions of Snapchat Stories, we have to wonder, though: How long until Facebook follows suit?

Status is rolling out today in the WhatsApp app on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

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*First Published: Feb 20, 2017, 4:18 pm