WhatsApp Stories, also known as Status, has over 450 million daily active users, revealed the company at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference. WhatsApp will also add a Group video calling feature soon along with new Stickers. The 450 million user base will come as good news for WhatsApp, which launched the Stories feature called as Status in early 2017. In May 2017, WhatsApp Stories had easily crossed the base of rival Snapchat, with around 175 million daily users.
The growing base of WhatsApp Stories comes even as Snapchat is seeing its growth slowdown with just 191 million daily users being reported in the company’s Q1 2018 results. Snapchat’s fall take place at a time when the app’s redesign had not gone down so well with consumers. Snapchat’s decision to club ‘Influencer’ and ‘Celebrity Stories’ in the ‘Discover’ tab has met with criticism from a lot of its core userbase, who were left confused about the design. Plus the lack of the dedicated ‘Stories’ tab has meant that not many users are uploading their daily updates via the platform, because the viewership has taken a fall.
Both WhatsApp and Instagram have made gains in the Stories segment, ahead of Snapchat, which originally had the feature. Still it should be noted that when WhatsApp launched the Stories feature, it did not receive such positive feedback. In fact, many had asked for WhatsApp to bring back the original text based Status feature, which had been replaced by the new video and photo heavy Status feature. The messaging app had then obliged its users, and brought back the text-based Status feature as well.
The other advantage with WhatsApp Stories or Status is that the platform has over 1.5 billion users, which means a much larger user base compared to apps like Snapchat. In fact, even Instagram’s user base is nearly 1 billion and the photo sharing app has close to 800 million users. WhatsApp is popular in India with nearly 200 million users, and that’s a big number in one of the most important markets in the world. The success of WhatsApp Status feature proves that Facebook and co made the right decision when introducing the feature across the family of apps.