Less than three months after its introduction, WhatsApp’s generic take on Snapchat stories now has 175 million users, Facebook said today. That’s a healthy number of users for the communication app, which has more than 1 billion users around the world. And it suggests Facebook’s strategy of cloning Snapchat across its entire suite of products is having its desired effect — halting Snapchat’s growth around the world, while also opening up valuable new surfaces for advertising.
The popularity of WhatsApp Status has been hard to gauge for US-based journalists, since the app is much more popular overseas. Given that relatively few international users had been exposed to the stories format before, it seemed reasonable that it could prove popular in WhatsApp. Facebook’s announcement today during an earnings call confirms that, for now at least, it appears to be working.
Snapchat faces a strong challenge from Facebook, and currently has 161 million daily users, the company said in February. The good news for Snapchat is they don’t appear to be going anywhere — more than half of users don’t visit Facebook daily, and nearly half don’t visit Instagram daily, according to App Annie research shared with Bloomberg.
Also, WhatsApp was down today.