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WhatsApp adds colorful text status updates, just like Facebook


WhatsApp today began to roll out Status updates you can make by writing text on a colorful image background, a company spokesperson has informed VentureBeat. While Status debuted as a text-only feature, it grew to include photos and videos. Today’s update lets users choose a font, background color, and even add links.

Facebook first started testing colorful test status in December 2016, before rolling them out to everyone on the social network in March 2017. WhatsApp started testing its new colorful Status option with select users earlier this month before rolling it out to everyone today.

Facebook owns WhatsApp, but it’s still not common to see the company test a very specific feature in its main app before bringing it to WhatsApp. Colored backgrounds on status updates are supposed to increase engagement, and while many users find them annoying, Facebook clearly believes they are working given it is pushing them out across its apps.

First introduced in February, Status updates disappear in 24 hours. The Snapchat-like updates have 250 million daily users, exceeding the Snap’s main product, Facebook announced last month.

Also announced today, Status updates can be seen with WhatsApp on the web.

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It's also getting a bunch of new features. The app now boasts more currency recognition, adding British pounds, US dollars, Canadian dollars, and Euros to its tally. Going beyond the color in a scene, it can also spot the color of specific objects, like clothes. Plus, it's no longer restricted to just short printed text, with handwriting recognition now part of its skill set. You can also customize the voice that it uses to speak its observations out loud, and set how fast it talks.

Finally, a musical light detector alerts you to the light in an environment with an audible tone -- Microsoft claims the tool will save users from having to touch a hot bulb or LED battery to check if it's on. Despite the big update, there's still no word on an Android launch.

Source: Microsoft

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