WhatsApp is rolling out a new Status feature to all users today. Instead of the text-only status that lets people know whether you’re busy or available to chat, the new feature uses photos, text, emojis and sketches to show what you’re doing. If that sounds familiar, it could be because it appears to be inspired by Snapchat.
New updates will show when users open up WhatsApp, separate from existing conversations in a new Status tab.
Your friends can react by tapping on ‘reply’ – with the response sent as a new WhatsApp message.
Exactly like Snapchat, the updates will disappear after 24 hours, with WhatsApp reiterating that all are fully encrypted end-to-end.
“When we noticed people were using the feature to communicate in real time, we redesigned WhatsApp as a messaging app,” WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum wrote.
“This new and improved status feature will let you keep your friends who use WhatsApp easily updated in a fun and simple way.”
Previously, WhatsApp users were only able to set their own message as a status, or choose from a number of pre-set alternatives such as “At Work” or “Available”.