In March of this year, selfie-sharing app Snapchat released an update that appeared to take on WhatsApp directly. The update allowed the app to offer chat features as well. Now the world's largest messaging app seems to be playing the same game by adding Snapchat-like features to its upcoming update.
In the Android beta version of WhatsApp released in the Play Store's beta channel, users were treated to new features such as the ability to draw on pictures as well as paste stickers — functionalities that have been defining characteristics of Snapchat. What is even more interesting is that the changes such as the emojis and the typography bear strong resemblance with those found in Snapchat.
The system is quite straightforward. For instance, when using WhatsApp's camera functionality to capture an image, one can crop the photo or tweak it by adding stickers, texts, drawing or even annotations before sending it as a message.
Certainly, one can say that Snapchat did not invent the stickers, but to be fair, the app did help popularize them by making it highly customizable and easily integrated into self-portraits. These help in adding creativity and even personality to images that people find appealing, but due to the number of their iterations in numerous apps, it is now harder to come up with a unique approach to implementing them.
There are also those who argue that while WhatsApp does appear to be encroaching into Snapchat's territory, it is the latter that still has some catching up to do. WhatsApp currently has more than 1 billion users in comparison to Snapchat's 100 million.
Aside from the stickers and drawing, other notable features of the update as indicated in the app's change log include the ability to share or forward messages and send it to multiple conversations at the same time. There are also changes to the app's interface when recording videos as well as new features that enhance the camera's capability when used in low-light conditions.
The update is still in the beta stage, and the features could still change or never be implemented at all in the app's official version. However, the fact remains that they are being developed and tested, so the changes have a big chance of coming to users' devices soon.
What do you think of these new features? Drop by our comments section below and let us know.
Photo: Jeso Carneiro | Flickr