WhatsApp got a mention in Facebook's F8 developer conference, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the instant messaging service's Status feature is used by 450 million people worldwide. This is more than double the daily active users Snapchat has. To recall, WhatsApp Status was launched in February last yea, and is lifted from Snapchat's Stories feature. WhatsApp Status replaced the old text form of status to allow users to change their status to a short video or multiple photos that will automatically disappear in 24 hours. The messaging app was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1.26 lakh crores).
Even though this feature was clearly introduced to combat Snapchat competition, it changed the way users interacted on the app daily, and has evidently been a huge success for the company. Snapchat, on the other hand, now has 191 million daily active users. The figure was 15 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with growth of 18 percent in the previous quarter. Snapchat, which took off brilliantly in early years, appears to have called for its own downfall when it neglected international markets initially.
WhatsApp, on the other hand, rolled out the Status feature globally, snatching that growth opportunity. Furthermore, the recent Snapchat redesign turned off some long-time fans and advertisers, sending its shares tumbling 16 percent at Wall Street. As of November, Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status combined enjoyed more than 300 million daily active users, much higher than Snapchat.
At the event, Zuckerberg mentioned that users spent almost two billion minutes per day on voice and video calls. To further that engagement, group video calling will be introduced within WhatsApp where up to four people can join the call at once and see each other in split-screen mode. He also announced that almost three million people were now using WhatsApp for Business, ever since its launch earlier in the year.