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WhatsApp launches Status – A SnapChat stories clone

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Facebook has added another SNAP to its clone story. It has launched Status on WhatsApp – a brand new feature where users can share worked up doodles, photos , videos and GIFs. The content will disappear 24 hours after it is published. The messaging application might have finally opened up an avenue to passively consume content for users.

This feature was beta tested in November and will now be rolled out to Android, iOs and Windows users. Users will be able to view updates from friends, decorate images with captions and images, shoot private messages and send their work of instant art to contacts they have chosen through a security setting. A potent advertising approach could be open for WhatsApp if it happens to look at Facebook or Instagram for clues. The Statuses could be preceded by full-screen ads hence translating this exciting new feature into an able monetary tool.

This new feature replaces WhatsApp’s  existing status update feature. The AOL messenger-type stay away updates were the only feature this app contained when it was launched 8 years ago. According to CEO Jan Koum, the original idea behind the creation of WhatsApp was to let users stay updated on what their contacts and friends are up to. Gradually, the company noticed that so many users were frequently updating their statuses, hence pivoting its functionality to a personal chat application. It, however, retained its Status feature.

WhatsApp now boasts of 1.2 billion users in a month. Users send up to 60 billion messages in a single day which includes 760 million videos, 3.3 billion photos and 80 million GIFs. The new Status feature could hand SnapChat a death knell by hindering its growth opportunity. The latter will be left with two options – either to squeeze revenue from its existing user base or generating more revenue from professional or hardware content.

Instagram has already dealt a big blow to SnapChat by lowering its view counts as per data collected by celebrity account and analytics managers. SnapChat’s IPO filing plummeted to 3.2 percent in Q4 2016 after the launch of Instagram Stories. The IPO had an earlier user growth rate of 17.2 percent till Q2 2016. While Instagram’s Stories feature was conspicuously placed on the main tab just above its feed, WhatsApp is a bit more subtle by placing Status in a separate tab.

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