WhatsApp Launches New Status Feature with Encrypted Disappearing Picture Messages

WhatsApp Launches New “Status” Feature with Encrypted Disappearing Picture

Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced the launch of “Status” a new feature that’s designed to let for sharing decorated videos, photos, and GIFs that that disappear after 24 hours. It’s a replicate feature of Facebook-owned Snapchat Stories, save the end-to-end encryption just like in WhatsApp messaging.

Using the in-app camera, WhatsApp users can share photos or videos that can be edited to include emoji, text snippets, and drawings. Status updates can be shared with all contacts, instead of just individuals or specific groups, however, the options to choose edit security settings to make it visible by only selected contacts is also added.

Through the new Status tab, WhatsApp users can also view the updates of all their address book contacts who have shared “Status” on the app and reply privately to updates. All Status updates, however, expire after a period of 24 hours. This new feature lets users scribble on images or add text and emojis just like in Snapchat.

CEO of WhatsApp Jan Koum writes about the new status feature, “The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you’re up to.”

WhatsApp which has until recently been a few-frills chat messenger service started to adapt to the visual communication age with the launch of additional camera features. Now with the launch of “Status” with messages that have a time limit, WhatsApp is all set to give tuff competition to Snapchat.

Snapchat, which had been dubbed a next generation messaging service, was just two years old and believed it was worth $4 billion when it turned down Facebook’s offer of the buyout. Snapchat was delivering millions of messages that disappear in less than 10 seconds, making it a truly instant service, unlike Twitter or Facebook which records the messages.

The new Status feature replaces WhatsApp’s old AOL Instant Messenger-style messages. WhatsApp is launching Status to celebrate its eighth anniversary and should be available soon for all iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone users.

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