Whatsapp update allows users to send voice messages

It has been announced that users are now able to record and send voice messages on Whatsapp, the smartphone chat software. This brings Whatsapp into line with Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Voxer and BBM, all of which already offer the function.

California-based Whatsapp says that 300 million people now use the app at least once a month. Unusually, the new function will be added to the Whatsapp app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Nokia S40 platforms at launch, as developers usually prioritise Apple iOS and Android operating systems.

No duration limit will be put on voice messages which are sent, and the software has been designed to automatically play through headphones if they are plugged in, through an earpiece if the phone is placed next to a user’s head, and through the speakerphone if held away. Senders will also be able to see when their recording has been listened to.

Whilst the app still lacks the ability to host interactive voice or video conversations, which is possible on Microsoft’s Skype and Blackberry’s BBM apps, Whatsapp works across more platforms. It has been suggested that the new voice ability might be ‘testing the water’ for VOIP (voice over internet protocol) functionality, allowing users to make calls similar to how they would on Skype.

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