First Facebook’s Instagram copied Snapchat’s Stories, and it didn’t try to hide the fact — it’s also called Stories. Then it was discovered that Facebook’s testing a similar feature called Messenger Day on Facebook Messenger. Now unsurprisingly, Facebook’s WhatsApp is also looking to add something similar.
The feature, called Status, adds a new tab between your chats and calls and lets you share photos and videos with all your contacts or with select people. It’s an experimental feature in the latest public beta of the WhatsApp app, but your device needs to be rooted or jailbroken to be able to access it.
You can scribble on your images or add text and emojis — exactly like Snapchat. You can also trim videos after recording them, but there’s no way to set a time limit for how long these statuses are displayed. These Statuses linger for about 24 hours, but there’s no way to delete them yet.
Status updates have been around on WhatsApp for a while, but it was akin to changing your status on Skype — like setting your status to “Away,” “Do Not Disturb,” or adding your own personal message. The new implementation doesn’t seem to get rid of the current Status feature, which lives in the settings menu.
It’s unclear when we’ll see Status roll out to the stable version of WhatsApp. The feature highlights Facebook’s constant desire to grab Snapchat’s user base — the social network giant even tried to purchase a South Korean Snapchat clone called Snow.