To celebrate its eighth anniversary, WhatsApp is officially launching this Friday a new Status update that allows users to share photos and video for 24 hours. The feature bears a striking resemblance to Snapchat and Instagram Stories.
The latest update of the instant messaging service started rolling out earlier this week, but it is only on Friday when it will be available for all users. The feature has the added benefit of being end-to-end encrypted.
Facebook, who owns both Instagram and WhatsApp, has secured yet another window to reach over 1 billion users.
How to post a Status on WhatsApp
WhatsApp’s latest feature is not all that new, but an enhancement to an existing part of the app that neither users nor the development team were exploiting enough.
People using the app primarily to chat do not update or change their status as frequently as they could, so WhatsApp is infusing the feature with multimedia elements and limited availability timeframes.
Now, when updating your Status, you can choose to add a picture, a GIF, or a video to it. You can edit these attachments with in-app emojis on the photo editor, and share them only with specific groups of people according to what you want.
You can tweak who you want to see your new status in the Privacy settings menu. Regardless of who can take a peek at it, it will be forever gone in 24 hours.
WhatsApp Status vs. Instagram and Snapchat
WhatsApp Status presents only one significant difference about other platforms offering similar features: they feature end-to-end encryption, meaning they are secure.
Although Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp, only the later gets the more robust security option, not even ephemeral content on the social network counts with such protection.
Snapchat not only does not offer high-security standards, but it also provides lower quality media due to its image capture practices. The app does not shoot video directly with the camera but rather records the image on the screen.
Facebook may put ads in your WhatsApp Status soon
If Instagram Stories are any sign, then WhatsApp could soon see the end of an era with the introduction of ad pieces before or after watching Status pictures, GIFs, or videos.
Depending on how widespread the adoption of the new feature is, Status updates could start showing ads in the coming months. Publicity came to Instagram mere months after Stories debuted.
Considering WhatsApp has been downloaded in over 1 billion devices, and hundreds of millions of people use it to chat every day, Facebook might not think too long and hard before it decides to start monetizing the free messaging app.