WhatsApp has rolled out a brand new Instant Video Messages feature, enabling users to record and share minute-long clips with friends.
While it’s always been possible to record a photo or video from within the app, by tapping the camera button to open the camera interface, WhatsApp is now integrating the video tool within the chat itself.
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After the option has rolled out to all users in the coming weeks, users will be able to tap the microphone icon for voice messages to switch to video mode. From there you’ll hold the icon for as long as you wish to record (to to 60 seconds). It’ll then be automatically posted. Recipients will see it in a nice circular frame within the chat.
The makers of the app believe it’ll be a nice way to send good wishes, like a birthday message, within a chat. Personally, I think it’ll be ideal for really getting your point across with all manner of wild gesticulations and finger pointing. But, yeah, birthday greetings will work too.
Here’s what WhatsApp has to say on the matter: “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.”
WhatsApp has been extremely active in pushing out new features over the last few months, with a focus on greater flexibility for users. Back in March the company added self-destructing audio messages for when you really needed to let rip, and has also added message editing, chat lock, and the ability to have a single WhatsApp account across multiple phones. All that has arrived since the spring.