WhatsApp has launched WhatsApp Status, a new tab for sharing decorated photos, videos and GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. It’s another Facebook-owned Snapchat Stories copycat, but the twist is that it’s end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp messaging.
As on Snapchat, WhatsApp stories are posted from an in-app camera. Once you’ve taken a photo, you can adorn it with drawings, text, and emoji. Once you post your story, it appears in a new “status” tab, where your contacts can view it for the next 24 hours. You can reply to friends’ updates directly from the post.
The popular messaging app tested the feature for beta users in November, and now the Status tab is rolling out worldwide on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Users can watch updates from friends and reply privately, shoot and adorn their imagery with drawings and captions and send their creations to all their contacts they’ve chosen with a persistent privacy setting. Sending media to specific friends is still done through message threads.
The Application becomes the fourth Facebook product to clone Snapchat stories. Instagram was the first, in August. It was followed by Facebook Messenger and then Facebook itself, both of which are still testing the feature in a small number of countries. WhatsApp is Facebook’s second product to roll the feature out globally.