With today’s launch of WhatsApp Status there could be brakes on Snapchat’s international growth, 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. This is coinciding with WhatsApp’s 8th birthday on February 24 which was invented years ago.
Late last year, Whatsapp tested a clone of Snapshat stories called Status, and now the Status tab is rolling out worldwide on iOS, Android and Windows Phone and the test feature of “Status Tab” is detailed in BGR India.
In the Android version of the beta the main WhatsApp message screen now has a tab called ‘Status’, sitting between ‘Chats’ on the left and ‘Calls’ on the right. And while it’s always been possible to set a status message in WhatsApp, which is visible when someone views your profile, the new Status tab does not replace that traditional status message; rather it’s a whole additional channel aimed at encouraging users to share ephemeral and primarily visual content with their friends.
It’s not just the filters that are Snapchat-like either: the photos will disappear in 24 hours – unless someone comments on the photo to start a conversation. Facebook is also placing the camera icon onto the top left of the main app in order to make sure people start using it.
Snapchat launched its Stories ephemeral timeline over three years ago, and the sharing feature has proved hugely popular. So it’s clear why Facebook is firing up its photocopiers.
And while it’s taken Zuck & Co a while to respond directly to their rival’s ephemeral sharing format, they now seem intent on rolling out a clone of the feature across their social board — with Facebook-owned Instagram launching a near carbon copy feature, Instagram Stories, this summer; and a Stories clone called Messenger Day also being tested on Facebook Messenger this fall.
Will Whatsapp survive this Clone without losing touch of its initial features and brand?