WhatsApp launched a new status feature on its 8th birthday, February 24. And it is almost identical to Snapchat Stories! It allows you to share photos, videos, and GIFs with your friends and contacts, which will automatically disappear after 24 hours.
There’s just one difference between the new WhatsApp status feature and Snapchat Stories. Your WhatsApp status updates will enjoy the same end-to-end encryption as normal WhatsApp messages.
Earlier WhatsApp was essentially a messaging app, with calls being a great addition. While it always had a status feature, it was very basic and text-based. People often set a status and then forgot about it. Or they simply picked one from the available options like ‘Available’ or ‘Busy’. This reinvented status now makes WhatsApp more like a social media app. And because of the disappearing feature, people will have to both update their own status, and check their friends’ updates regularly.
WhatsApp, like Facebook and Instagram, is moving towards a video oriented social media approach. Facebook Live and Instagram Stories (again copied from Snapchat) have proved to be very popular.
This new feature might also open the doors to advertising on WhatsApp. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has over a billion users at present, and advertisements may be used to monetize the app. However, this will face a lot of criticism from users. It will detract from the simple and efficient functionality of the app. After all, for the whole social media experience, we already have Facebook!
How to upload a new WhatsApp status?
- After opening the app on your phone, you’ll see that there’s now a ‘STATUS’ tab between CHATS and CALLS.
- Under this tab, you can upload a new status.
- You can also see your contacts’ status updates, and people’s replies on your status.
- Take photos or videos right then, or upload photos or videos already saved on your phone.
- You can also edit them, and add drawings, emojis, and captions.
- These status updates will be visible to your contacts only for the next 24 hours.
- Under Privacy Settings, you can decide exactly who can see your status update.
- So put up a fun new status, and tell your friends what’s up with you!