When the feature was first released, many spoke out against it. Apart from being a copy of a Snapchat feature, they also believed that it took away from the minimalistic experience that had come to become a WhatsApp USP. However, Status seems to have become a favorite of users.
Speaking at Facebook’s quarter 1 earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Status now had over 175 million daily active users. In light of WhatsApp’s total 1.2 Billion users, that equates to around 15 percent people that use the service in one form or the other everyday.
Interestingly, the number is larger than the total number of users Snapchat has. This is what I mean when I keep harping about the power of a large audience. Snapchat has been in the field longer, it invented the ‘Status’ feature for crying out loud — in comes WhatsApp and boom!
The Status feature lets users post pictures, GIF and videos for short durations. After 24 hours, they automatically disappear. And as Facebook’s reports so clearly point out, they are quite popular with the masses. What’s more, as yours truly has found out firsthand, they are excellent ice-breakers as well.
The feature was introduced merely 10 weeks ago and it already as this kind of a following. Which suggests that people are quite taken with it. Sure, there are no monetary advantages to WhatsApp for now, but I wonder if keeping WhatsApp ad-free extended to Status as well. It probably did and it was just a thought. Regardless, Status has given users more to do and more reasons to talk to each other — and hence, its popularity.
There was a lot of hullabaloo when WhatsApp first introduced this new status and did away with the old, text based one. However, the company maintained peace by reintroducing the text based one and allowing it to leave alongside the new status. The crowds are fickle however, and they seem to be taking to the idea of posting pictures and videos for 24 hours with great gusto.