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Introducing WhatsApp's Snapchat Copy-Cat

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Hopping on the Snapchat copy-cat train a bit late, WhatsApp is next in line to clone the picture-sharing app. And yes, you have heard this all before. First came Facebook-owned Instagram ripping off the wildly-successful Snapchat, and now comes another Facebook-owned app butting in. Clearly, Facebook is using all of its technical prowess to stomp out the meddlesome Snapchat. Facebook does have a master plan to one day dominate the internet and happy-go-lucky Snapchat has been on their agenda for quite a while. In 2013, Facebook offered $3 billion to buy the company. The dominating social media platform has since busied itself developing technology to compete - Instagram Stories and Facebook Messenger's Messenger Day.

Tech Crunch
Similarly to Instagram's Stories feature, Status will mimic Snapchat Stories, displaying content for 24 hours from the time of posting. For those with beta accessibility, Status can be found on a tab between Chats and Calls. Before posting a photo or video, it can be customised with editing tools that allow users to draw using a colour wheel or place/size emoji. A caption can be added if desired. Once done, the send button shares the status with the user's WhatsApp contacts; select all or a chosen few. Though similar in name to Facebook's own Status bar, the messaging-service's newest feature deviates from the traditional. This new feature does not replace the standard status message, rather it creates a visual channel. It is a medium over which people are encouraged to share visual content.

The limited beta testing feature was first sighted on Friday by BGR India who claims it is only available to registered public beta testers. According to the publication, users who shared a status had no way to delete it or change the lifespan. In Facebook's 2016 earnings call, covered by BGR India, Mark Zuckerberg comments on Facebook's intents for the future:

So I can talk about shifting to put video first across our whole family. There are two broad sets of improvements that I think we need to make. One are to the capture and sharing tools that we offer. So the example of that is the new camera that we're working on and all the creative tools around that. You can see that a little bit in the announcement and launch of Instagram Stories and what we're doing with Messenger and some of the additional tests on Facebook and the camera work that we're doing in WhatsApp. So this is across the whole family of apps. This is a big part of the product experience that we want to deliver.

Status is not only an attempt to elbow into Snapchat territory, the added feature will help generate video ad revenue. Accessing the WhatsApp network will allow Facebook to reach over one billion active users. With the changes to their privacy policy over the summer, business services are set to be integrated into the app. Basically, this means that ads are incoming. Previously, WhatsApp stood alone as a messenging service free of advertisements, spam, and business offerings. However, with the change to policy, users can expect to see advertising incorporated more and more into their experience.


Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver). Follow her @Songbird_Jacqui

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Introducing WhatsApp's Snapchat Copy-Cat Reviewed by Jacqueline Litvan on Friday, November 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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