As speculated in previous rumors, WhatsApp has finally made its revamped statuses features official. The feature is named as WhatsApp Status which is nothing new but a direct clone of Snapchat Stories which was earlier cloned by Instagram when it announced Instagram Stories last year. The cloning of the feature by both Facebook-owned apps is aimed at achieving the common goal of competing with Snapchat.

Talking about WhatsApp Status, users will not be limited to having boring text-based statuses. With the new feature, WhatsApp now allows users to set photos, videos, and even GIFs as statuses. These statuses will be visible for a period of 24 hours after which they will get deleted automatically. Users will also be able to choose who can view their statuses and it will also a view counter to show how many friends have seen the status.

If you have used Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories, you know the drill and it’s exactly the same. The only major difference is that WhatsApp has made these statuses secured with end-to-end encryption, just like usual text messaging announced released last year.

For the WhatsApp Status feature, the team has even changed the UI design of the app. There are three tabs: Chats, Status, and Calls. There is also a camera icon on the home screen which can be tapped for recording a video or clicking a photo straight away.

The new WhatsApp Status feature is appearing to be a result of the server-side change. It has started to roll out and will become available worldwide in coming days.