WhatsApp is introducing Telegram-like instant video messages, allowing users to respond in chat with videos up to a minute long. By simply tapping and holding a button, users can capture footage, and swiping up enables hands-free recording continuation.
To avoid startling recipients, videos will play on mute until the sender chooses to turn on sound with a tap. As with other WhatsApp features, instant messages are end-to-end encrypted for added privacy. The company plans to roll out this feature to all users in the “coming weeks.”
While this addition may not replace Telegram or Snapchat for many users, WhatsApp remains dominant in the messaging realm, primarily driven by calls and texts. However, it offers a convenient option for sharing rapid-fire videos without switching apps. It allows for quick sharing of news or personal reactions to friends in a more intimate manner than stickers or text messages.
Parent company Meta has an incentive to introduce such features, as Telegram and Snapchat continue to gain traction in the market. Additionally, Apple’s iOS 17 will bring FaceTime video voicemail to iPhone users, posing further competition. While instant video messages alone may not drive user sign-ups, they can help retain WhatsApp fans and prevent them from shifting towards rival platforms.
“Voice messages on WhatsApp changed the way people communicate by providing a quick and secure way to share your voice. We’re excited to build on this feature with new instant video messages. Now you can record and share short personal videos directly in the chat.
Video messages are a real-time way to respond to chats with whatever you want to say and show in 60 seconds. We think these will be a fun way to share moments with all the emotion that comes from video, whether it’s wishing someone a happy birthday, laughing at a joke, or bringing good news.
Sending a video message is as simple as sending a voice message. Just tap to switch to video mode and hold to record the video. You can also swipe up to lock and record the video hands-free. Videos will play automatically on mute when opened in a chat, and tapping on the video will start the sound. Video messages are protected with end-to-end encryption to keep your messages secure.
Video messages have begun rolling out and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.”