WhatsApp is like the little engine that could, taking a simple idea and running with it for years, something that has earned it millions of users and quite a bit of notoriety. As of today, all of those users, whether on iOS or Android or Windows Phone or something else entirely, will gain a new feature: push-to-talk voice messaging.
The co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, talked to the folks over at AllThingsD today, detailing the new feature, which is also available on the app for those running BlackBerry and Nokia devices. Though being able to send a voice message is nothing special in the world of messaging applications, Koum points out the difference that WhatsApp offers.
According to Koum, WhatsApp’s voice messaging is distinguished by its simplicity – rather than having to tap tap tap through a variety of settings or menus or what have you, WhatsApp voice messaging works by pressing and holding while recording the message. Releasing the push then fires the voice message off to the designated recipient, and swiping to the left deletes the message.
The process of listening and monitoring the messages has also been simplified. As far as listening goes, the app automatically determines which speaker to play the message through based on whether the handset is being held at arm’s length or up to the ear. And for monitoring purposes, an icon is used to demonstrate when a voice message has been played by the receiving party.
Furthermore, there is no limitation on how long a voice message can be, so users can prattle away for however long they feel is necessary. For those who aren’t yet seeing the voice messaging feature, hang tight – Koum says all users across all the platforms on which WhatsApp is available should be seeing it “within 24 hours.” For those who already have it, let us know what you think!