“Even after we added messaging in the summer of 2009, we kept the basic ‘text only’ status functionality in WhatsApp,” says co-founder Jan Koum in a blog post. “Every year, when Brian (Acton) and I would plan projects to work on, we always talked about improving and evolving this original ‘text only’ status feature.”
The roll out of Status started Monday, and coincides with WhatsApp’s 8th birthday on Friday, says Koum.
Not surprising, Status looks similar to Snapchat’s Stories, a similar feature where users upload photo and video updates shared with friends or followers. Facebook, owner of WhatsApp, adopted a similar Stories feature for photo app Instagram.