WhatsApp is going back to its roots to commemorate the app’s eight-year anniversary — its latest update introduces a new tab called Status, which lets users share moments in their day with friends and family in the form of photos, videos, and GIFs.
It’s another Facebook-owned Snapchat Stories copycat, but the twist is that it’s end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp messaging.
WhatsApp 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.
WhatsApp said 50 billion messages are sent each day via the app, including more than 3.3 billion photos, 760 million videos, and 80 million GIFs — hence the company’s focus on these three mediums with the new update. The company said over the past year, the number of photos sent have doubled, and the number of videos sent have tripled.