Messaging app WhatsApp has just launched WhatsApp Status – a special tab that lets users share embellished photos and videos. Similar to Snapchat, they disappear within 24 hours.
It’s not the first time, Facebook subsidiaries have copied Snapchat products. Indeed, Instagram just recently unveiled a feature that blatantly copies Snapchat Stories.
So what’s the big difference with Status? For one, the WhatsApp feature is encrypted.
Available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone, users share their creative images with friends and contacts.
In addition, the tool could potentially be a boon for advertisers by allowing ads between statuses.
WhatsApp currently has 1.2 billion month users with 60 billion messages sent daily. The success of Status may potentially hinder some of Snapchat’s growth. However, it’s too early to tell given Snapchat’s rather devoted teenaged audience.
If Instagram Stories is anything to go by though, Snap Inc. better prepare for some unique features in the pipeline.
WhatsApp has long focused on being more of a simplified mobile messaging tool. However, as demand for expanded functionality among users grows, the company is having to adapt and add features that will ultimately keep its audience interested enough to continue to use the app.
Whether Status is big enough to boost consumer interest remains to be seen.