WhatsApp reveals video streaming capabilities for next upgrade

23 Nov 2016

Image: Inferiorz Presents/Shutterstock

WhatsApp is continuing its upgrades push with a tweak to its video tools – users will soon be able to stream content before it’s fully downloaded.

While video calling was recently released in full on the WhatsApp service, changes to the beta version – weeks before a full roll-out – show there’s more to come.

Rather than waiting to download video files, which can prove very large given the improved camera quality on modern smartphones, users on beta can now stream the content. It is only a small time saver, but a time saver nonetheless.

This is in no way a potential competitor for Snapchat, Instagram Live Stories or Facebook Live. Rather, this is still between two people, or a group, sharing content.

Essentially, you can watch a video while it downloads – a simple but nice improvement on an already impressive instant messaging app.

Of course, video calls and video streaming changes are not the only improvements 2016 has brought to the popular Facebook-owned app.

Earlier this month, it revealed GIF support. This includes Live Photos and short videos, which can be now converted to animated GIFs, too.

To convert into GIFs, videos can’t be longer than six seconds. Live Photo conversion is pretty straightforward for users, as they can use the 3D Touch feature from the Attach interface.

Elsewhere, the company is testing its own variation of Snapchat’s Snaps feature, with users’ Status bars soon to host expiring content.

The new Status tab will coexist with the old version in WhatsApp’s settings menu, hinting strongly at Facebook’s ‘Messenger Day’.

WhatsApp’s new Status feature will, when it’s fully released, let people share multiple updates in a day.

Much like today’s release of video streaming capabilities, those interested in testing it out need the latest public beta update of the app – so users need a jailbroken smartphone to mess around with it.

WhatsApp. Image: Inferiorz Presents/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic