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WhatsApp unveils ephemeral messaging as Facebook apps continue to emulate Snapchat


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

February 20, 2017 | 2 min read

Facebook is continuing its offensive on Snapchat with the rollout of an ephemeral multimedia messaging feature in WhatsApp called Status.

The new feature is already being tested

WhatsApp celebrates its eighth birthday

The company revealed that the new feature is an evolution of its original objective to enable users to share with friends and family just what they are doing.

After 24 hours the messages, be they videos, gifs or images, will disappear, emulating Snapchat’s Stories, already very publicly the inspiration of another Facebook app, Instagram’s, ‘Stories’.

The company said it is reinventing the status feature.

A statement on the WhatsApp blog from chief executive Jan Koum read: “Starting today, we are rolling out an update to status which allows you to share photos and videos with your friends and contacts on WhatsApp in an easy and secure way, even your status updates are end-to-end encrypted.”

The launch will coincide with the company’s 24 February birthday - now eight years of age.

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