WhatsApp is rolling out an update to its app on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. This changes the way your status updates work, allowing you to add more than just words. Suffice to say, if you have ever used Snapchat Stories then you’ll be familiar with the new WhatsApp Status.
Until now, WhatsApp has only offered a very basic form of status updates. You type in where you are or what you’re doing, and that status will be shown to all of your contacts from now until the end of time/when you remember to change it (which is likely never).
This functionality was actually how WhatsApp started out. Before the company realized people wanted to communicate in real-time and added the instant messaging for which it’s known, WhatsApp was an application built solely to let you let your friends know what you were doing at any given moment. Which was as boring as it sounds.
Text Is Just So 2016
Fast-forward eight years and WhatsApp is finally doing something more modern with its status updates. Rather than text, you can now share a photo, video, or GIF with your contacts. You can also add additional text, drawings, or emoji over the top to give it a little extra flavor.
These new status updates will, like everything else sent through WhatsApp, be end-to-end encrypted. They will also disappear after 24 hours, encouraging you to update your status at least once every day. If you post multiple statuses in one day they’ll rotate in a slideshow.
Your contacts can either just view your current status, or reply/react to it directly. And so with this one seemingly minor change, WhatsApp has added another string to its bow. It’s no longer just about messaging people, but about consuming content too.
Similar to Snapchat
The elephant in the room here is how similar WhatsApp Status is to Snapchat Stories. Instagram and Facebook have both already added similar features, so it was only a matter of time before WhatsApp followed suit. Not that that will be offer any comfort to Snapchat.
Are you one of the 1 billion plus people now using WhatsApp? If so, what do you think of the new WhatsApp Status? Are you likely to use it? If not, what’s stopping you from stepping on board the WhatsApp gravy train? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Jan Persiel via Flickr