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WhatsApp Announces New Improvements for Audio Recordings in the App

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WhatsApp Announces New Improvements for Audio Recordings in the App


I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of hearing my own voice played back to me, which generally means that I overlook things like voice messages in social apps.

But evidently, they do have a clear value, with audio social tools becoming a more significant element of our broader connective process, and more people using voice messages, on Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The capacity to use your voice, instead of text, can have intrinsic value, and on WhatsApp, that value is clearly a big bonus, with users now sending 7 billion voice messages per day, on average, in the app.

Given the use of voice recordings in WhatsApp, it’s now looking to enhance the experience, with a range of new features designed to help users make the most of their audio interactions.

WhatsApp audio message updates

As you can see here, WhatsApp is rolling out a range of new voice message additions, including:

  • Out of Chat Playback: Listen to a voice message outside of the chat so you can multitask or read and respond to other messages
  • Pause/Resume Recording: When recording a voice message, you can now pause the recording and resume when ready, in case you’re interrupted or need to gather your thoughts
  • Waveform Visualization: Shows a visual representation of the sound on the voice message to help follow the recording
  • Draft Preview: Listen to your voice messages before sending them
  • Remember Playback: If you pause when listening to a voice message, you can pick up where you left off when you return to the chat
  • Fast Playback on Forwarded Messages: Play voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds to listen to messages faster on both regular and forwarded messages

These are all significant, beneficial updates, particularly the options to pause and resume audio playback recording, which can be a major frustration with longer voice messages.

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Audio connection options can be particularly beneficial in regions like India, where many different languages are spoken, but not everyone can understand such in text form as well as they can by ear. In such cases, the capacity to record audio can be a more universal connection option, which also applies to many African and Asian regions, where local dialects and interpretations can vary.

Which, given WhatsApp’s growing global presence, has become a key value proposition for the app. Again, 7 billion audio messages per day is a huge amount, which points to the potential of audio as a connective tool, in a range of ways.

And given the recent rise of Clubhouse and other social audio options, it may be becoming a bigger consideration in western markets too.

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These new updates will help to enhance this, and provide more communication options in the app.

You can read more about WhatsApp’s coming audio recording options here.



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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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