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General News: WhatsApp for iOS app updated with Snapchat-like doodle feature - Printable Version

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WhatsApp for iOS app updated with Snapchat-like doodle feature - nairrk - 10-20-2016

After Instagram copied Snapchat’s Stories feature, WhatsApp also borrowed Snapchat’s doodle feature for images. WhatsApp rolled out the doodle feature for its Android users a couple of weeks ago. Now, the feature has been rolled for WhatsApp for iOS users as well. WhatsApp’s new feature does not limit itself to only doodling on images but also adding emojis and writing text as well.

Using this feature is very simple. To get started, tap on the camera icon within the app or upload an image through gallery. After this, on the top right, options for doodle will appear wherein you can add emojis from the list of pre-installed emojis of WhatsApp, add text in different colors and doodle on the image. This feature is evidently Snapchat-inspired and it has even integrated the double tap feature to change rear and selfie cameras as in Snapchat. However, on Snapchat, not only can you add emojis but you can add different stickers as well. You can even search for stickers as per your choice and the relevant ones will pop up.

Even though Snapchat is behind Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp in terms of users base, the app has continued to grow in popularity. Evidently, Facebook is ensuring its apps have similar features that are available on Snapchat. Prior to WhatsApp’s doodle feature, Facebook-owned Instagram blatantly copied Snapchat’s Stories feature. Just like on Snapchat, Instagram users could upload stories on their feed which would disappear for 24 hours. And users could also doodle on the images with different types of brush strokes. Although, Instagram did receive a lot of criticism for doing so, it did not stop their profit. Two weeks back, Instagram reported of having 100 million active users of Instagram’s ‘Stories’ globally within just two months of its launch.

After instant success on Instagram, Facebook is now looking to extend the Stories feature to its Messenger app. The company was reported to be testing the feature for its users in Poland recently. Celebrating “Messenger Day”, Facebook rolled out a new tool that allowed Messenger users to click and upload photos and videos which would be visible to their friends but disappear after 24 hours. These Messenger stories also had the feature of using stickers, texts and doodles.

Coming back to WhatsApp, it is still the largest instant messaging app in the world, closely followed by Facebook Messenger. While Facebook’s Messenger has evolved from being a basic messaging app into a standalone platform altogether, WhatsApp has primarily focused on improving messaging features. One of the notable improvements that WhatsApp added this year was end-to-end encryption, which protects all communication made on WhatsApp, from personal chats, group chats, voice calls, photos or videos. This feature came weeks after Apple denied the FBI and the US Department of Justice’s request to devise a new way so hacking into iPhones can be possible.

Other than that a few minor and light features had also been rolled out on WhatsApp. Among these was the addition of a new font called FixedSys. Not only did it bring a new font, but one could also turn texts into bold, in Italics, or give a strikethrough. Last year, WhatsApp had rolled out the voice calling feature on its app, and it had more additions this year. One being the voicemail feature which was merely sending a recorded message, and also the option to call again if the voice call hasn’t gone through. Something similar on the lines of the doodle feature on images was creating and sending GIFs on WhatsApp.

Going forward another major change that WhatsApp is going to add is sharing of some your information with Facebook. Facebook intends to use the shared information to improve its friends suggestions feature and help businesses widen their reach with improved targeted ads. WhatsApp, on the other hand, looks to improve its spam fighting capabilities, and improve tracking of basic metrics such as number of unique users among others. Though, it has made it clear that there won’t be any banner or pop-up ads on the messaging app.