WhatsApp just announced the newest feature of its iOS and Android apps. Called Status, the feature is described to function just like Instagram and Snapchat’s Stories. This means, users can now share personal content with their fellow WhatsApp users, and this content will have a 24-hour expiry. 

On the official WhatsApp blog, CEO and co-founder Jan Koum wrote that they are rolling out an update that reinvents the Status feature of the cross-platform instant messaging application. Koum  explained that this update will henceforth allow users to share photos and videos with their contacts in an easy manner. He even pointed out that this feature is quite secure because the Status updates users will share are end-to-end encrypted. 

The release of the update is special because it is rolling out in time for WhatsApp’s 8th anniversary this Friday, Feb. 24. Koum also proudly shared how this additional feature is part of their efforts in improving and evolving the messaging app from just being a “text only” platform. It also makes sense that they are adding this feature now because according to Koum, their vision for the platform eight years ago was for it to be an application that  enables friends to know what their contacts are up to.

With the new update, MacRumors reports users can now use the in-app camera to capture and share pics and videos that can be annotated with text snippets, emojis and even drawings. Unlike Stories, Status gives users the option to share their updates with all of their contacts or simply choose the ones who can view the shared content. 

Interestingly, Android Authority believes the new feature of WhatsApp could affect Snapchat in a negative way. The tech news site claims the feature is likely to impact Snapchat’s growth, and this is bad news to the company for it is currently preparing itself to go public. Snap Inc. also plans to start trading shares in March.