WhatsApp Stories now has more daily active users than Snapchat itself. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in company’s Q1 earnings call, announced that WhatsApp has a total of 1.2 billion monthly users, about 15 per cent of which use Stories features daily.
WhatsApp Stories is essentially a rip-off of Snapchat Stories, and was launched mid-February. Interestingly, Stories feature of WhatsApp is now bigger that the entire Snapchat app itself, which currently stands at 161 million daily users. For Snapchat, reports of competition taking a lead comes at a time when its parent company Snap just went public with its IPO and raised over $3.4 billion.
Facebook is actively using Stories features across all all its products, including in its core Facebook app. It looks like the feature has a much greater reach owing to the popularity of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Stories in Messenger are gradually catching up, while Instagram Stories already has 200 million active users.
To recall, Stories lets people post pictures or videos that disappear in 24 hours. They can be shared with all contacts on WhatsApp or a select few friends. Previously, WhatsApp introduced Stories as a replacement to its text Status. However, the messaging app had to bring back text-Status after several users demanded the same. Stories in WhatsApp was then re-introduced as an an option.
Snapchat app is popular among youth. In India, its Google Play Store ratings took a dip last month, after reports revealed CEO Evan Spiegel allegedly made the following statement in 2015: “This app is only for rich people… I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.” Soon after the word spread, #UninstallSnapchat started to trend big time on social media.
Zucekrberg has made it clear the company has no plans of stopping at just Stories. At the F8 developer conference, Facebook has showcased how it wants to make augmented reality available across all its platforms. Now this is nothing new, given Snapchat’s camera has had AR-style lenses for sometime. The Facebook CEO, in an interview with TechCrunch took a slight jab at Snapchat saying the innovation they were doing was for everyone, and not for the ‘high end’ audience.