WhatsApp Is Creating Its Own Version Of Snapchat Stories

But it will be "unique to WhatsApp"

Facebook-owned WhatsApp will adopt its own version of Snapchat Stories, coming shortly after Instagram (also owned by Facebook) emulated the same feature last year.

The tool will enable people to share videos and photos for up to 24 hours before they disappear, and was launched this week as a new version of its current status update option, called WhatsApp Status.

Instagram recreated Stories last August, with Instagram executives saying that it was a format that would be copied by other online and social media services.

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"[We] built on a format that Snapchat invented," Instagram product boss Kevin Weil explained (via Recode) in December. "It's a format, [and] we believe that format will be universal."

The new WhatsApp feature will now allow users to share images and videos in a montage format - similar to Snapchat - for up to 24 hours, after which they'll disappear.

What makes the tool unique is that it enables people to share GIFs on their status, and all the status updates are end-to-end encrypted, which means they really will vanish without trace.

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Whereas Snapchat videos only last for 10 seconds, WhatsApp clips will record for up to 45 seconds, and can only be shared with people in their WhatsApp address book.

Product manager Randall Sarafa at WhatsApp told Recode: "This is a format that is being broadly adopted, and we're adopting it as well.

"There are some pretty interesting things that we've done to make it unique to WhatsApp."

He added: "We're not adding ads to WhatsApp, and we don't have plans to do that."