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How to Use WhatsApp's Snapchat-ish Doodling, Emojis

In the race to build the most full-featured messaging app, some services copy the competition entirely, which is the case with WhatsApp's latest update. Doodling on photos and decorating them with emoji used to be strictly for those on Snapchat, but now the 1-billion-plus people who use WhatsApp will get to decorate their snapshots this way.

Announced yesterday (Oct. 3) as a new feature rolling out to WhatsApp on Android phones (coming "soon" to iPhones), these editing tools aren't the only feature borrowed from Snapchat. WhatsApp also now uses smartphone screens as a flash during low light situations and offers a swipe up and down control for zooming in and out while recording video.  

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To find these new editing options, update WhatsApp, tap on the camera icon in a conversation and take a photo. Now you'll see new buttons to tap, including a Smiley (for emoji), a T (for text)and a Pencil (for doodling).

These image editing features weren't there for us when we looked for it, but we expect it to show up as a background update in the coming days.

Adding a new feature that possibly complicates things is something of a rarity for WhatsApp, which is known for being a minimalist messaging service. The fact that they've got their eyes on Snapchat gives a hint that the messaging app feels a need to reinforce it as an option for younger users.