Draw, Write On WhatsApp Photos, Videos

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WhatsApp is the latest brand to steal a page from the Snapchat playbook.

WhatsApp DrawingThe Facebook-owned chat service on Monday introduced new camera features that let users write or draw on photos and videos and add expressive emoji.

Rolling out now to Android phones, and expected to reach iOS users soon, the function takes cues from Snapchat, Instagram, and Skype—all of which allow the addition of text and doodles to images. On WhatsApp, editing tools appear automatically after capturing a new photo or video, or sharing one that's saved on the phone. When adding text, experiment by changing the color and font style, as well.

"Whether you're drawing a big red heart to show how much you miss someone or adding your favorite emoji—sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words," WhatsApp said in a blog post.

The camera feature also supports front-facing flash, promising "the perfect selfie" in low light and at night. WhatsApp also added the ability to zoom while recording videos; just slide your finger up or down to move in or out. Double tap the screen to switch between front- and rear-facing cameras.

In January, WhatsApp reached a milestone 1 billion monthly users, who send 42 billion messages, 1.6 billion photos, and 250 million videos every day. More than 100 million daily voice calls were reported in June.

Last week, an administrative order banned Facebook from collecting and storing WhatsApp user data—a process the social network began days earlier in an effort to fight spam and abuse and improve the user experience. It's also faced bans in Brazil over its refusal to hand over user data.

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