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Winners and Losers: WhatsApp launches instant video messages as Max subscribers drop

Last week, Samsung stole our attention with the launch of the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5, causing this week to feel a little quieter in comparison. 

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of news to talk about. This week’s winner title goes to WhatsApp as the messaging app launched a new instant video feature. Our loser, meanwhile, is Max as the streaming service saw a substantial drop in subscribers. 

WhatsApp Instant Video Messages

Winner: Meta 

Our winner this week is Meta after the company launched a brand new feature that allows WhatsApp users to send short video messages to one another.  

The Instant Video Messages feature gives users the ability to record and share minute-long video recordings with friends and family from directly within the chat interface. That means you won’t need to open up your camera to film short clips. 

Accessing the feature is as easy as tapping the microphone icon to move into video mode and then holding that same button to start recording the same way you would record an audio message. 

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Like regular WhatsApp messages, video messages are secured with end-to-end encryption. This means that WhatsApp, your internet provider and other third parties won’t be able to intercept your messages and see what you’re sending. 

While the Instant Video Messages feature is new for WhatsApp, it definitely isn’t a new concept. The feature has been available on Viber and Telegram since 2016 and 2017, respectively. 

However, WhatsApp is by far the most commonly used messaging app globally, meaning this update should bring the feature to a wider audience, giving more people the ability to send quick video messages to friends and family on the fly. 


Loser: Warner Bros. Discovery 

This week’s loser is Warner Bros. Discovery after it was reported that the recently merged company’s streaming service, Max, has plummeted in subscribers in the last few months

According to stats from the company’s Q2 earnings report, Max has lost 1.8 million subscribers compared to the first quarter of this year. Incidentally, the streaming service was rebranded from HBO Max to simply Max on May 23. 

While there’s no evidence to prove the rebranding was the cause of this drop in subscribers, it does seem rather conveniently timed. Whether the decrease is down to the loss of the HBO name or the fact there is simply less new content coming out isn’t clear, but it did seem a strange decision to remove the “HBO” from the name when the network had become synonymous with hits like Game of Thrones, Succession, The Last of Us, Barry and The White Lotus. 

Regardless of why Max has been bleeding subscribers, Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav doesn’t seem too bothered. 

“The migration to Max has gone exceedingly well with the overwhelming majority of subscribers in the US successfully transferred”, he said in the earnings call (via Gizmodo).

“While we have seen some expected subscriber disruption, we have experienced lower-than-expected churn throughout this process”.

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