WhatsApp is announcing a welcome overhaul for voice messages on the platform, which will include the ability to pause, play at faster speeds and listen outside of the original chat.
It’s the first major overhaul to voice messages since they were introduced in 2013 with simplicity at the heart. Now they’re becoming even more useful.
Key among the changes is out of chat playback, which pops the voice message out and allows the user to read and respond to other messages while still listening in. Handy if you’ve received an Oscar acceptance length speech from a friend pertaining to some trivial event.
Senders will now be able to pause and resume the recordings, so you don’t have to start all over again if someone interrupts your flow, or want to think a little before proceeding.
There’s also the ability to remember playback on those messages, so if have to pause, you can restart from the same place.
WhatsApp is also bringing the waveform visualisation to all users, so you know when your irate significant other is about to start yelling, while the ability to access faster playback (1.5x or 2x) will allow you to get through their yammering a little faster. This will also apply to forwarded voice messages.
Naturally, everything remains end-to-end encrypted, retaining privacy and security for your vocal professions.
In a blog post, the company writes: “Showing emotion or excitement through voice is more natural than text, and in many situations, voice messages are the preferred form of communication on WhatsApp. It’s simple for anyone to use – for your family members who prefer to avoid typing, for your friends who love to tell stories, for your peers who need encouraging words, or for when you want to hear your partner’s voice at the end of a long day.”