WhatsApp is celebrating their birthday on 24 February by rolling out a special update to the popular messaging app. The Facebook-owned messaging app announced that it’s updating their statuses feature with a video function – much like Instagram’s story sharing feature.
UPDATE 24 Feb: We’ve tried it out and it’s pretty awesome. The function is very similar to Instragram’s Story feature, but significantly easier.
How to use it: Simply choose the status tab at the top of the app, then choose the circle with the plus to create your own update. Photos and video can be edited in the app, but you can also add previously created media as your status.
Who sees your update? You can share the update with selected contacts or your entire address book. Simply click on the three dots to the top right of the screen once you’re on the status tab. Now choose “status privacy”. Now you can decide who you’d like to share it with. My contacts shares it to everyone in your address book, my contacts except excludes selected contacts; and only share with allows you to select specific people from your address book.
Is the update massive? The update is just over 30 MB in size, so head over to your app store, update and check it out!
In 2009, WhatsApp’s primary function was to keep friends and family updated about your whereabouts with it’s text only status feature. Since then, the company has noticed a demise in status user activity. This new feature will hopefully encourage you to update your status more frequently. WhatsApp will retain their original status update below the user’s name and next to their profle picture. Instead, a separate tab will be added on for users to use the new feature – which acts like a camera for interaction and updates on friends and family statuses.
The status upgrade includes photo, video and Gif sharing, making it more personalised and fun. You can update your story multiple times a day to create a continuous status story. Say goodbye to these decorated or animated statuses after 24 hours. The status feature will be visible only for people on your contact list. You can limit to who views your status by excluding people on your Whatsapp contacts. Just like private conversations, your status updates are also end-to-end encrypted. The status update is already available for Android, iOS, and Windows users in some countries.
What if someone screenshots your status update or chat? There are rumors of WhatsApp notifying you when someone screenshots your chats.
Does it all sound familiar? The WhatsApp status feature correspondence to that of Snapchat Stories and story sharing on Instagram (both are Facebook owned). This could make for an intriguing social media case study on how you portray yourself on the various platforms mentioned. Let’s leave that up to the anthropology students.