It was just eight years ago, in February 2009, when we started writing the first lines of code for what would eventually become WhatsApp. The original idea behind the project was to build an application that lets your friends and other contacts know what you're up to. This was months before we added messaging. The first version of our app looked like this:
Even after we added messaging in the summer of 2009, we kept the basic "text only" status functionality in WhatsApp. Every year, when Brian and I would plan projects to work on, we always talked about improving and evolving this original "text only" status feature.
We are excited to announce that, coinciding with WhatsApp's 8th birthday on February 24, we are reinventing the status feature. Starting today, we are rolling out an update to status, which allows you to share photos and videos with your friends and contacts on WhatsApp in an easy and secure way. Yes, even your status updates are end-to-end encrypted.
Just like eight years ago when we first started WhatsApp, this new and improved status feature will let you keep your friends who use WhatsApp easily updated in a fun and simple way. From all of us at WhatsApp, we hope you enjoy it!