whatsapp announced on Wednesday that it will be rolling out some improvements to voice messaging in the coming weeks, including the ability to listen to a message while reading other chats and play messages at 1.5 or 2 times speed (yes, put this feature everywhere please).
The experience of recording messages also gets better. WhatsApp now lets you pause and resume your recording, so you don’t have to go through lengthy silences when you’re thinking about what to say next, or redo a recording when you need to have a short conversation in real life. You can also listen to a message before sending it to make sure you don’t accidentally get cut or add something you don’t want.
There is also a slight aesthetic improvement. Instead of just using a line to show the progress of your voice message playing, WhatsApp now uses a waveform of the actual message. Plus, WhatsApp can remember where you were when you paused playback and let you start playback from that point on, so you don’t have to listen to an entire message again.
These improvements are likely to be widely used – WhatsApp says users send 7 billion voice chats on average one day† While some similar features were already available in other apps (Telegram let you listen to messages outside of chats for a while, for example), it’s certainly nice to see the WhatsApp version getting some attention.