WhatsApp began to roll out a new feature today that lets its 1.2 billion users share status updates that include photos, videos, and GIFs. Each status update that can be shared with friends in your contact list disappears after 24 hours.
The addition of a designated tab for status updates comes roughly eight years after the app was invented specifically for the purpose of sending and receiving text-only status updates like “at home,” “at work,” or “battery about to die.” Messaging was added in the summer of 2009.
“As soon as you open the new Status tab, you’ll see updates from friends and family who are WhatsApp users in your address book,” a spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. “You can reply privately to your friends’ updates and control who sees what you share.”
The new feature was announced in a post on the WhatsApp blog.
To decide who can see your status updates, open the privacy option under the account area in the settings tab.
Disappearing status updates are the latest feature to be added to one of the world’s most-used chat apps, known for being very simple in the features department.
Earlier this month, the chat app began to allow users to create a six-digit password for two-step verification, added security on top of its end-to-encryption.
Last fall, video calls were made available, along with the ability to send messages and make calls with Siri, as well as the option to write, draw, or add emojis to photos and videos.