WhatsApp’s Status feature boasts approximately 175 million users, Facebook said on Wednesday during a conference call with analysts and investors following the release of the company’s impressive Q1 2017 financials. The Menlo Park-based social media giant thus revealed that a minor feature of its instant messaging (IM) app that was likely inspired by Snapchat’s Stories functionality now has more users than Snapchat has in total. The ephemeral messaging app had around 161 million daily users in February, and while that number likely hasn’t diminished in the meantime, industry watchers believe it also didn’t grow in a significant manner, largely due to Facebook’s efforts to stop its adoption by copying some of Snapchat’s most popular features and formats across the majority of its product portfolio.
The main Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and some of Facebook’s other digital offerings currently sport features that were at least partially inspired by Snapchat, and many of them have been well-received by consumers so far. Instagram Stories recently celebrated 200 million users while also surpassing the entire user base of Snapchat, while Messenger Day may be on the right track to do the same. Snapchat’s popularity outside of the United States still isn’t significant enough to endanger Facebook’s products, while many of the latter’s services like WhatsApp and Messenger allow it to grab the ephemeral messaging market in territories where Snapchat isn’t on the mainstream radar, some industry watchers believe.
Apart from slowing down Snapchat’s adoption rate, Facebook’s strategy of ennobling its products with ephemeral messaging elements also allowed it to grow its own user base and develop new advertising formats. While it’s currently unclear whether this product design philosophy will prove to be popular in the long term, initial indicators are rather positive and Facebook will likely continue adding Snapchat-inspired features to its services in the future. It remains to be seen whether Snapchat will manage to come up with a viable answer to Facebook’s aggressive product strategy, though recent reports indicate that the firm doesn’t have any reason to worry about its core user base leaving, though its growth is certainly suffering due to Facebook’s recent endeavors.