UPDATE: WhatsApp has rolled out a major update that brings impressive new features
WhatsApp, the world's most popular messaging app, has launched a major new feature that you can start using right away.
A reworking of the existing WhatsApp Status feature, the new update works in a similar fashion to Snapchat or Instagram Stories, allowing users to send updates to their friends in the form of picture or video content.
Having been introduced earlier than expected, the new WhatsApp Status feature is now available to the service's more than 1 billion users with Android and iOS updates available to download.
Making your status updates more visual, the new feature allows users to send friends an update of their current actions or emotions using images, videos or GIFs.
Helping give a bit of added context, these can be enhanced by throwing in a number of emoji or text annotations, with different colour and size text available.
Like Snapchat, WhatsApp's latest update will let you set a single status update, or a series of updates that will run one after the other like a timeline of your day.
Previously, WhatsApps Status updates were limited to basic text prompts similar to MSN Messenger from back in the day, with pre-set options such as "At Work" and "Available" well, available.
Instead of being sent within a message, the new Status updates will be shown when users open up WhatsApp in the new Status tab.
Although not in traditional chat windows, your friends can still respond simply by tapping on the 'reply' option.
Doing so will send a response in a new message.
Again echoing Snapchat, all updates will disappear after 24 hours, stopping you being bombarded with a mass of updates every time you open the app.
For those concerned about potential privacy concerns, WhatsApp has stressed that all Status updates are covered by end-to-end encryption.
Launched in time to mark the service's 8th birthday, WhatsApp has claimed the update is a reaction to changes in how people are using the app.
“When we noticed people were using the feature to communicate in real time, we redesigned WhatsApp as a messaging app,” WhatsAppp 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."
The update comes just days after the messaging app added more than 100 new emojiand additional support for enhanced video calling features.
Source: UK Daily Star