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Facebook has a second Snapchat competitor called WhatsApp Status -- and it already has 300 million users

  • WhatsApp Status has 300 million users less than a year after its launch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts and investors this week.
  • The application allows WhatsApp users to post a status update that disappears after 24 hours
  • The app has grown even faster than the Stories feature on Facebook's Instagram service, which also has 300 million users
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.

Facebook's latest Snapchat competitor, a feature called WhatsApp Status, has 300 million monthly users less than a year after its launch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts and investors this week.

The app has grown even faster than the Stories feature on Facebook's Instagram service, which Zuckerberg said also has 300 million monthly users, according to a transcript of the company's quarterly earnings call.

Instagram Stories, Facebook's first attack on Snapchat, was launched in August 2016, as Facebook began aggressively courting the same younger demographic of its upstart rival. By April 2017, it had already surpassed Snapchat's user count.

This year, Snapchat has posted slower growth than Wall Street analysts were expecting when its parent company, Snap, first sold shares to the public in March.

Like Instagram Stories, the newer WhatsApp feature also lets users to post a status update that disappears after 24 hours. Users can also post a photo or video which has the same ephemeral quality pioneered by Snapchat.

The application, which has a bare-bones design uncluttered by ads, was launched in late February, according to a blog post by WhatsApp founder Jan Koum.

In the post, Koum touted the security of the feature. "Share photos and videos with your friends and contacts on WhatsApp in an easy and secure way...even your status updates are end-to-end encrypted," Koum wrote.

Disclosure: CNBC's parent company is an investor in Snap.

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