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WhatsApp adds a touch of Snapchat with 'Status' feature

The Facebook-owned app debuts a feature that lets you post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar?


WhatsApp is adding a feature similar to Snapchat Stories.


Facebook seems to have a thing for Snapchat Stories. The popular feature, on the social network that's giving Facebook a run for the money, lets people post a string of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. In August, Facebook-owned Instagram introduced its own version, called Instagram Stories. And Facebook is currently testing Facebook Stories in its mobile app in Ireland.

Now a similar feature is coming to another Facebook-owned app. WhatsApp, which has more than a billion users, on Monday introduced a revamped version of its Status feature. Users will be able to share a string of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Where have we heard that one before?

Previously, the Status feature let you display only simple things like "at school" or "at the movies" or some similar snippet you'd written yourself.

With the revamped feature, you can share photos, videos, and GIFs and punch them up with emojis, text and drawings. You'll be able to share them with all your contacts. WhatsApp also said the new feature is encrypted end-to-end.

Snapchat, which announced its filing for an IPO earlier this month, is manna for young people. Nearly 70 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds in the US use the app, according to ComScore. Facebook has noticed.

Instagram's version of Stories has been popular. The feature has 150 million daily users, and last month Instagram said Stories would start showing ads.

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said in a blog post that the new version of Status is meant to coincide with the app's eighth birthday, on February 24. Facebook bought the app in 2014 for $19 billion.

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