WhatsApp, the ever-popular instant messaging platform that caters to over a billion users has today added a new feature to the mix, with a distinctly Snapchat-like refresh of the app’s status updates.
Now, instead of only being able to create text status updates, which have been around since WhatsApp’s inception eight years ago, users can post images, complete with text overlays and drawing capabilities. Sound familiar? Well yes, it will, because it’s exactly the feature Snapchat has been using as its main selling point for years now, and it’s also the same feature that Facebook brought to Instagram and tested with its own mobile app recently.
Facebook, owner of WhatsApp these days, has now “gifted” the feature to WhatsApp for its eighth birthday, and it is rolling out to users today. Anyone with WhatsApp installed on their Android, iPhone or Windows Phone should see it live soon enough.
As people update their statuses with the new images, users will be able to find everyone’s updates in a new Status tab. Here, they can comment on each status update should they feel the burning desire to do so, with the whole feature actually going back to Snapchat’s roots in that regard.
Few know that when Snapchat launched eight years ago, it was actually a service for setting status updates so people would know what you were doing, or how you were feeling. That’s the space that Facebook took for its own, and when WhatsApp’s developers noticed that people were using it for real-time chat, the WhatsApp we know and love today was born.
Nostalgia and history lesson aside, this new feature within WhatsApp may at first blush appear out of place, but given the way the same feature took Instagram by storm following its launch late last year, we wouldn’t want to bet against a similar success in the world of WhatsApp.
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