Let’s talk about WhatsApp
Over two billion people in more than 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere.
WhatsApp is provided for free and offers a simple, safe and reliable messaging and voice call service available on phones worldwide.
WhatsApp started out as an alternative to SMS. Nowadays, its product supports a variety of media items, such as text, images, videos, documents and location, in addition to allowing voice calls.
Let me tell you what happened to me this week…
I got up this morning and went out for coffee with my sister. During our regular gossiping, she asked:
“Did you see the status your daughter posted?”
After a momentary panic, I calmed down — she does not have Snapchat and certainly not Instagram (she is only 9 years old).
I told her she’s must be making a mistake and that it wasn’t her for sure.
Then my sister took her phone and showed me a story that my daughter posted…
What I found really shocking is that it was on WhatsApp!!
What? When did this happen? Why didn’t anyone tell me?
Maybe my crazy and busy life just didn’t allow me the time to catch up on this sensational news that was released way back in February 2017!!
After a few minutes of checking what this WhatsApp story — actually called a “status” — is all about, I thought to myself:
WhatsApp copied from Instagram, which copied from Snapchat!!
As Picasso said,
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
Picasso himself stole this quote from T. S. Elliott, who said,
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”
So, I checked a bit here and there:
In February 2017, WhatsApp launched its new status feature as an alternative to a simple text-based status message.
“Status” allows you to share texts, images, videos and GIFs that will disappear after 24 hours. To send status updates to others and see their status updates, your phone numbers have to appear in each other’s contacts.
According to a study conducted by the Wall Street Journal, the real reason it was launched is the Indians’ obsession to send “Good morning!” messages to all their friends and family, every morning.
In fact, millions of Indians open the app at the same time and flood the internet in search of sunrise and blossom images, and send them via private messages to everyone they love.
The result is that one of every three smartphone users in India runs out of memory on their phone every day.
Therefore, the WhatsApp status really worked for the Indians and they often use it instead of sending thousands of messages every morning.
We’re living in a world where copying is common, and Instagram serves as an example that it is possible to copy Snapchat successfully. Being first and original isn’t everything. If you cannot execute your idea, there’ll always be imitators who will manage to implement your invention better than you.
It is quite simple really — if you have copied someone else’s idea, you must do it better and surpass the original.
The problem is…
In my opinion, WhatsApp did not copy it well.
The status feature is located in a tab that not everyone is aware of. There are not enough good reasons to encourage us to open this tab, if we are not Indians.
It should be “sexier” and more prominent, to make us addicted to this feature, just as we like.
I checked, researched, and designed an option which, in my opinion, can meet the need. This is the result: (design for Android)
· I started from the top bar. In Android, it is unreasonably wide, while its visual appearance is somewhat outdated, therefore, I switched to a narrower version with icons.
· In addition, you can see who uploaded a status according to the green circle around the contact’s avatar.
· Clicking the contact’s avatar opens a half-a-screen sized window on the messages screen, where you can scroll through the statuses (just like on Instagram, but on half a screen).
· An option to share, download or comment will appear at the bottom of the status.
· I also decided to fix the camera feature to match the screen size displayed in the status.
Here you go. A small upgrade which, in my opinion, can be better than what we have today.
That way, I’ll never miss the content posted by my relatives.
Thank you for your time!
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