WhatsApp on Wednesday announced a series of updates for voice messages to make it easier for people to communicate with their contacts on the platform using voice notes. The updates include features such as the ability to pause and resume voice message recordings, waveform visualisation, out of chat playback, and draft preview that were already available to some users. WhatsApp also introduced a remember playback feature as fast playback on forwarded voice messages. In addition to the feature updates, WhatsApp announced that its users every day send seven billion voice messages on an average.
One of the most useful additions that WhatsApp has brought as a part of its voice message-focused updates is the out of chat playback feature. It lets you listen to your voice messages outside of the chat so you can multitask or read and respond to other chats on the app simultaneously. Your active voice message will, though, not run in the background if you leave WhatsApp or switch to a different app.
The feature, which was initially referred to as a global voice message player, was initially spotted in testing among iOS beta testers in January. It was also rolled out to some iPhone users last month. The feature was also recently spotted in development for desktop users.
WhatsApp has also added the ability to pause and resume voice messages that lets you gather your thoughts or just restart your recording in case you’re interrupted once. It was rolled out to some users on the iPhone in January and was spotted in beta testing for Android and desktop users in recently.
The next major introduction to voice messages on WhatsApp is waveform visualisation. It brings a visual representation of the sound on the voice message to help users follow the recording. The visualisation also appears when you’re listening to voice messages you have received from your contacts.
Just like the other features, WhatsApp had been testing waveform visualisation with beta testers on Android and iOS for the last few months.
WhatsApp has additionally brought the remember playback feature to let you pick up your voice messages where you left off when you return to a particular chat after pausing them.
There is also fast playback support on forwarded messages to let you play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds to listen to messages faster in case of forwarded messages. Previously, WhatsApp introduced fast playback support on regular messages. It was also spotted in beta testing before coming to the general public.
WhatsApp is rolling out the new features for voice messages to all users in the coming weeks. It would, therefore, take some time to reach your device. Nevertheless, make sure you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed to get the latest experience as soon as it’s available.
In addition to the new features, WhatsApp is also broadening the rollout of draft preview for voice messages to let you listen to them before sending to your contacts. It was initially rolled out to some users in December.
WhatsApp first launched voice messages on its platform back in 2013. It was not commonly used among users in the initial stage as people were primarily using the instant messaging app for sending text messages. However, voice messaging on WhatsApp has picked up fast, which has pushed the Meta-owned service to introduce new updates to improve the experience.