WhatsApp was created to solve a specific problem at the time: It was a better and cheaper alternative to SMS and it was able to do that by it being available on multiple platforms. Skipping over to the present time, it has grown to become a platform of choice for over 1.2 billion active users and people like it because of its simplicity and straight forward design.
However, Facebook made a change recently, which was in line with what they have been doing with Instagram and Messenger: Incorporating a Snapchat’s Snap user interface on WhatsApp. You can create these “statuses” by swiping right to reveal the camera interface or by going to the status bar and tapping on “My Status.” You can also view other people’s status by checking on that new tab.
The move might have looked good on paper but in reality, it was really not worth it.
- WhatsApp is quite personal to a lot of people out there. People use it to chat with relatives or close friends about their lives and the revamped Status update does not add anything new to that experience. The stories you might want to share to your friends or relatives can be shared in the private chats or groups.
- Some users who have WhatsApp also have Instagram, Messenger or Snapchat on their phones. The duplication of features will only make people stick to what they are used to (Snapchat or Instagram Stories).
- Sure WhatsApp Status has a similar interface as the Snap interface or Instagram Stories, but it still lacks fun features like Snapchat lenses or geofilters which make Snapchat unique. The reason why people like Instagram Stories now is that it the network has a wide reach (your stories can end up on the Explore tab) and it is easier to use when compared to Snapchat. Facebook has do do a lot of work to make it compelling to users out there.
WhatsApp has been making strides to become a better messaging app for the masses by adding features like voice calls, video calls, GIF support, end-to-end encryption, increasing the limit for group participants and the likes. It may seem good on paper that this form of storytelling via ephemeral posts is the future for social networking sites since it will lead to an increase in engagement on the platform as an example. However, we have known WhatsApp as being a simple app from the start and this move has made it more complicated for people who only use it to communicate with their friends or relatives in a simple chat-like manner.
Instead, WhatsApp should be concentrating on adding long overdue features like the ability to reject being added to a random WhatsApp group or making it cloud based like Telegram so that you wouldn’t need to be backing up your chats everytime on the cloud.