Remember the days when Facebook was a way to tell your family how you were doing, let your friends know where you were, and tell a group of people “I’m eating breakfast. Rad.” ? Well, with the advent of Facebook events, groups, pages, games, apps, ads & messages, it seems the traditional Facebook status update has lost its priority in the Facebook ecosystem.
Much like how Whatsapp reminded people just how important messaging really is, Whatt has launched today in the French app store in order to bring back the traditional status update. Launched by Meetic’s (Marc Simoncini) & OLX’s (Fabrice Grinda) former head of Mobile, Simon Berger-Perrin has set up base camp in New York City to launch Whatt, and is most certainly looking to capitalize on the increasingly segmented, “one action” mobile app market place. While messaging has been overly populated by Telegram, Line, WeChat & more, communicating a status update to a group of people has been entirely under utilized, and frankly, Facebook is no longer the place for people to do this, Simon said in an interview.
The first edition of the app is quite basic – you can comment on & favorite status updates from your Facebook & Twitter friends (feel free to find me on the app – I’ve just downloaded it and will be trying it out during SXSW). As the app evolves, the goal will be to revolve around the idea of communicating status updates – static messages that can be viewed later in time (unlike Snapchat) which are associated to a time-stamp, allowing viewers and posters to see how many people have viewed the update. Simon says that currently only 20% of Facebook friends view a given status update – a figure that can be contented by Facebook with the idea that the most interesting posts naturally have more engagement over time – however, it certainly begs the question as to whether, in the increasingly segmented mobile world, mobile users need a dedicated space to announce their whereabouts, their activities, their thoughts and their moods.