Continuing with the Snapchat-ification of its properties, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is starting to rollout a complete revamp to its Status feature, which now allows users to post photos, GIFs or videos overlaid with drawings, emojis and a caption that will be visible to selected friends for 24 hours.
This is perhaps the biggest fundamental change the app has seen yet, adding in a component for passively consuming content, and it’s significant given WhatsApp’s 1.2 billion monthly active users, who share 3.3 billion photos, 80 million animated GIFs and 750 million videos each day.
Status will get a tab of its own, in between Chats and Calls, with posts stitched together very much like Instagram and Snapchat and encrypted like normal WhatsApp chats. WhatsApp Status updates you create are visible to your contacts by default, though you can change them to “My contacts except” or “Only share with” as well if you want more privacy controls.
Within the Status tab you will see various groups: My status, which shows your most recent WhatsApp status; Recent Updates, which shows your contacts’ status updates from the last 24 hours; Viewed Updates; and a Muted section which lists updates from users you've muted.
The new WhatsApp Status feature is rolling out today on iOS, Android and Windows 10 smartphones starting with users in Europe, with other regions in line to get the feature soon.