As we roll in to March, it’s been a busy few weeks for Mark Zuckerberg who has been rolling out a number of interesting updates across Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. And with Zuckerberg recently confronting the fake news scandal that continues to plague Facebook, this month’s editorial homes in on the world’s largest social network and what changes are in store for its 1.5 billion users.
The Clone Wars | WhatsApp Launches ‘Status’
First came Instagram Stories – Facebook’s blatant copy of Snapchat. Back in January Instagram announced that its Stories feature attracts over 150 million daily users, meaning it’s taken just a few months to get to the same number of users that it took Snapchat over four years to attract. While pretty shameless, Facebook’s recent strategy of simply cloning the latest trends instead of truly innovating seems to be paying off.
Now as part of a new update to Zuckerberg $19bn purchase, WhatsApp has launched ‘Status’, another Snapchat steal with the aim of keeping users within the messaging service.
Allowing users to share moments with their contacts through photos, videos, GIFs, emojis and drawings, Status not only offers end-to-end encryption but also expires within 24 hours – just like Snapchat and Instagram. In the last year the number of photos sent on WhatsApp has doubled, and with video it has tripled. Over 50 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp each day too, so while the format of this update may appear very similar to Snapchat, WhatsApp certainly have the numbers to back up their latest heist.
More Updates to Messenger and Instagram
From one chat service to another, Facebook’s Messenger app now lets users send money overseas via a new chatbot developed by money transfer service TransferWise. At Outpost we see this update more of a convenience manoeuvre, as transferring cash through Messenger takes around the same time as using the TransferWise website. But convenience sells, especially for the users that spend a hefty amount of time using Messenger.
And finally, an update to Instagram that isn’t Snapchat inspired! In a long-awaited change to the way users publish content on Instagram, you can now share up to 10 images and video in a single post. Much like Facebook’s carousel component, users “no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember” according to their official blog. While there’s no official name for the update (we’re calling it Albums), in the short time since its release it seems to have found favour with fashion brands who are using it for everything from catwalks to new clothing lines.