WhatsApp introduces camera features to compete with Snapchat


WhatsApp now lets users write or draw on photos and videos, as well as add emojis, as it steps up competition with rivals such as Snapchat.

When taking new photos or videos, or sharing those already on the phone, the new editing tools will be shown automatically.

The update, first introduced in a testing phase last month, also adds front-facing flash for “the perfect selfie”. “In low light and at night, this will brighten up your screen and improve the quality of your photo,” the app maker said.

Also new is a zoom feature for video recording.

The update is already rolling out to Android phones and will come to iOS soon.

However, WhatsApp still doesn’t have some of Snapchat’s most popular features, such as animated selfie filters and augmented reality 3D stickers.


This is also not the first time WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, which tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013, has been inspired by the ephemeral app maker.

Last month, Instagram introduced Stories, which lets users share photos and videos with a 24 hour life span in a slideshow format, bearing a strong resemblance to rival Snapchat’s signature feature.

Soon after, Facebook experimented with new features to gives users easier access to cameras and accommodate filters and stickers.

It was the first time it incorporated technology from video effects app MSQRD, which it acquired in March.

While users in countries where Snapchat is popular, particularly the US, may not see anything novel in WhatsApp’s new offerings, it is possible the features become a hit in some of the countries where Snapchat has not seen high adoption.

According to TechCrunch: “Good-enough features plus being the first app to offer them at scale in a market could succeed better than having the best features but showing up late”.

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