I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of hearing my own voice played back to me, which generally means that I overlook things like voice messages in social apps.
But evidently, they do have a clear value, with audio social tools becoming a more significant element of our broader connective process, and more people using voice messages, on Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
The capacity to use your voice, instead of text, can have intrinsic value, and on WhatsApp, that value is clearly a big bonus, with users now sending 7 billion voice messages per day, on average, in the app.
Given the use of voice recordings in WhatsApp, it’s now looking to enhance the experience, with a range of new features designed to help users make the most of their audio interactions.
As you can see here, WhatsApp is rolling out a range of new voice message additions, including:
- Out of Chat Playback: Listen to a voice message outside of the chat so you can multitask or read and respond to other messages
- Pause/Resume Recording: When recording a voice message, you can now pause the recording and resume when ready, in case you’re interrupted or need to gather your thoughts
- Waveform Visualization: Shows a visual representation of the sound on the voice message to help follow the recording
- Draft Preview: Listen to your voice messages before sending them
- Remember Playback: If you pause when listening to a voice message, you can pick up where you left off when you return to the chat
- Fast Playback on Forwarded Messages: Play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds to listen to messages faster on both regular and forwarded messages
These are all significant, beneficial updates, particularly the options to pause and resume audio playback recording, which can be a major frustration with longer voice messages.
Audio connection options can be particularly beneficial in regions like India, where many different languages are spoken, but not everyone can understand such in text form as well as they can by ear. In such cases, the capacity to record audio can be a more universal connection option, which also applies to many African and Asian regions, where local dialects and interpretations can vary.
Which, given WhatsApp’s growing global presence, has become a key value proposition for the app. Again, 7 billion audio messages per day is a huge amount, which points to the potential of audio as a connective tool, in a range of ways.
And given the recent rise of Clubhouse and other social audio options, it may be becoming a bigger consideration in western markets too.
These new updates will help to enhance this, and provide more communication options in the app.
You can read more about WhatsApp’s coming audio recording options here.