WhatsApp is celebrating its 9th birthday today, but the celebration started on 21st of this month when it rolled out the all new ‘Status’ format. First, this new feature was rolled out as the beta in France and the Netherlands and then in the U.K. and Spain. On Tuesday finally it was rolled out worldwide starting from Italy, Israel and Saudi Arabia and on Wednesday the update was made in the U.S.A and the rest of the world supporting iOS, Android, and Windows Phones.
With this new status, one can put his status as a picture, small video and also a GIF. All this sounds similar as a few months back other popular social networking platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have already adopted this feature as Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories respectively.
This update has come as a shocker for many, but few are just cool with this new development. For those who are already using the popular Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, they feel like this is just a copy of it. For those who only use WhatsApp as their primary tool to remain in touch with their contacts, the new development is yet to sink in, especially when it is a bit difficult for a layperson to use this all new Status update.
For WhatsApp, this is the one more step towards achieving their primary goal. Randall Sarafa, the Product Manager at WhatsApp, said, “We lean on three Principles; simplicity, reliability, and security. That’s been our focus all along, that’s type of app we want to build, and everything we’ve done has been in regard to that.”
Currently, WhatsApp has over 1.2 billion monthly users who exchange not less than 50 billion messages a day. These users send 3.3 billion photos, 760 million videos and 80 million GIFs each day. Over the last year the number of pictures, videos and GIFs have been increased in many folds, and now it seems that WhatsApp is bringing all these three widely shared components clubbed into one.
Sarafa answered the question on whether this update is a copy of Snapchat and Instagram Stories perfectly. Sarafa said, “I think it’s a format that’s being adopted by the industry broadly, and we see a lot of apps using it. As we adopt, we wanted to add a bit of unique flavor to it, and I think we did that.” So, on the one hand, WhatsApp is accepting the fact that such features are getting popular on social media networks world around, its parental company Facebook is reportedly in the process to roll out the same feature very soon.
All in all, users who are using Snapchat and Instagram Stories, this latest development, has hardly bothered them. For first time users of the feature, it is shocking, but they will soon adopt and accept it as it is easy to apply once you understand the basics. At the different end of both these ends, WhatsApp is just keeping it cool by accepting that they have just introduced something which is popular among the people.