WhatsApp ups the ante in Facebook-Snapchat rivalry
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Image credit: WhatsApp screenshot

Image credit: WhatsApp screenshot

Snapchat users will recognize the new features

Since acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook has moved to standardize features from Instagram and Messenger across it, in particular, image and video editing options for all of these platforms to better compete with Snapchat. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg has noted, Facebook is now prioritizing video-first options across all of its platforms.

WhatsApp will benefit from yet another round of these changes with its Android 2.16.336 beta. The new editing features, on a separate status tab, will allow users to drawn and share custom content on media, just as on Snapchat Snaps, and as with Instagram Stories or Messenger Day, reports Android Authority.

This follows up on the new camera tab that will be available to broadcast images to your contacts list or groups, though the new status options for multimedia display and sharing are hidden in the settings function. As with Snapchat, there will be a time limit to how long the content is displayed: in this case, twenty-four hours. Users can append stickers, captions, and doodles to the material.

Other updates include customized privacy settings and text message forwarding, according to @WABetaInfo.

In October, a beta for video calls was also announced for Android WhatsApp users after an earlier, but soon discontinued, May preview. Beta users can use this feature with one another, which is not yet supported for regular WhatsApp users. The BGR review of the function noted that audio lagged and quality was low, but Facebook will resolve this going forward.

Image credit: WhatsApp screenshot

Image credit: WhatsApp screenshot

Facebook acquired WhatsApp, and its 1 billion-plus monthly users, in 2014 for $19 billion. Recently, the company attempted to snatch up one of Snapchat’s competitors in the Asia-Pacific market, Snow, which has 80 million monthly users. (For comparison, Instagram has about five times that many.)

Snow’s parent, Naver, declined Facebook’s offer so the South Korean company could continue to develop it indigenously, with the hope of expanding even further.

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