By James Browning
Johannesburg – Ubiquitous messaging app WhatsApp has begun rolling out new features for voice notes.
After revealing and rolling out some of these features to Android Beta testers last month, WhatsApp has announced a full list of new voice note features.
This follows additions to voice note functionality in 2021, which allowed users to increase playback speeds up to double, which was a life-changing quality-of-life upgrade for when that coworker can’t get to the point, or that friend simply must give you all the details to their latest story.
The new features include:
Out of chat playback: This will allow you to keep listening to a voice note while reading and responding to other chats.
Remember playback: Voice messages will remember when you paused them and left the chat so that you can pick up where you left off. Coupled with the new feature above, this helps prevent you getting locked into listening to that seven-minute voice note all at once, or at least allow you to multi-task while you do.
Pause/resume recordings: You can pause while recording voice notes and then resume when ready. This addition is great for allowing the sender to gather their thoughts, and prevent listeners from sitting through the meandering rambling that long voice messages tend to get clogged up with.
Draft preview: This will allow you to more effectively listen to your voice notes before sending them.
Fast playback on forwarded messages: While playback speeds of 1.5x or 2x are already available for regular voice notes, this will extend that functionality to forwarded messages as well.
Waveform visualisation: This feature was the first to be flighted and will have already rolled out to many users. This adds a waveform to voice note playback, which is incredibly useful for skimming voice messages to find specific parts or skipping long silences.
WhatsApp boasts that seven billion voice messages are sent daily on the platform, which is not hard to believe. Despite the majority of our interaction with the digital world being done through written text, it is often either more natural or more efficient to express oneself through speech.
Whether it’s a message that needs to be sent on the move and one-handed, or back-and-forth thoughts about a nuanced issue, the utility of voice-based messaging is clear and unlikely to change soon.
These new features will go a long way to making that process easier for both senders and listeners in the coming weeks.