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WhatsApp adds Telegram-style video messages Leave a comment

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It’s now easy to show your WhatsApp friends what you’re doing without putting in the effort to create a Story or a similar clip. The service is rolling out Telegram-like instant video messages that let you respond in chat with videos up to a minute long. You just have to tap and hold a button to capture footage, and you can swipe up to keep the recording going while hands-off. 

Videos will automatically play on mute, so you shouldn’t startle anyone until you’re ready to turn on sound with a tap. Like most anything else in WhatApp, the instant messages are end-to-end encrypted to add a layer of privacy. The feature should be available to all users in the “coming weeks,” the company says.

This likely won’t replace Telegram Snapchat for many people. WhatsApp is still dominant in the messaging space, and driven largely by calls and texts. Even so, the feature might be appreciated if you’d rather not switch apps just to send rapid-fire videos. You can quickly share news when text or an audio message won’t cut it, or simply react to a friend with something more personal than a sticker.

There’s an incentive for parent company Meta to act. While WhatsApp has over 2 billion active users as of last year, Telegram is expanding quickly with an estimated 700 million active users each month. Snapchat is still growing despite fierce competition from other social platforms. Apple’s iOS 17 will introduce FaceTime video voicemail to iPhone users, too. While instant video messages might not persuade users to sign up, it might keep WhatsApp fans from drifting toward the competition.

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