Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp has launched a new feature called Instant Video Messages which it started testing earlier this year on both Android and iOS. As the name says, WhatsApp will now let you send short video messages to your friends and family, just like audio messages.
“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,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.
The voice messages button in the bottom-right corner of the WhatsApp chat UI now has a dual purpose. You can tap on it to switch between voice and video message modes. To send an instant video message on WhatsApp, you can tap and hold the button to start video recording.
Like voice messages, the video will be sent automatically when you lift your finger from the record button. WhatsApp adds that video messages are also end-to-end encrypted and you can swipe up to lock and record videos in hands-free mode as well.
You can record a WhatsApp video message of up to 60 seconds in length. The video message will play automatically on mute when the recipient opens the chat window and they can tap on the video to start the sound.
Videos messages aren’t something new. WhatsApp’s rival app Telegram has offered the feature for quite some time now and works in a similar way. Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s video messages feature has started rolling out and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.
WhatsApp has added a number of features this year such as status reactions, saving disappearing messages, support for multiple smartphones, editing sent messages, Chat Lock, silence unknown callers, and support for contextual stickers.
Furthermore, the instant messaging app has also made it easier to message unknown phone numbers. Users can text phone numbers from within the app without the need to add them to their contacts.