WhatsApp has introduced instant video messages, a new feature that lets quickly record circular videos and send them to their contacts. These 60-second video messages work similarly to voice messages and play in line in the chat view for the recipient.
Recording instant video messages requires the sender to press and hold the record button, which makes it seamless, just like voice messages.
Instant video messages on WhatsApp
While video recording is not new to WhatsApp, this new user experience of pressing and holding the video record button to instantly create and share a message will likely catch on with the message app’s audience. Of course, this is not the first time that a messaging app has added such a user experience: Snapchat introduced this a long time ago for its chats, while Instagram also added this to its direct messages.
Just like voice messages, users can press and hold the video recording button in a chat to start recording. Swiping up on the button will enable hand-free video recording. However, unlike voice messages, which do not have any limits, video messages are limited to 60-second durations.
The videos will autoplay on mute when a chat is opened, while tapping them will unmute them and they will playback in a larger view. Here is a demo video of how the feature will work:
WhatsApp’s choice of circular thumbnails is an interesting one. It is unclear whether these messages can be saved offline in photo libraries on smartphones or if they will be limited to the app.
WhatsApp says that instant video messages have started rolling out and will be available to all users on iPhone and Android in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see whether this experience will also extend to the desktop apps on Windows and Mac.