WhatsApp video streaming feature

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This happens most of the time with WhatsApp users; I’m positive you’d nod your head in agreement by the time I’m done painting the picture in your mind.


You are chatting with a friend or a loved one on WhatsApp. They send you a video they feel you ought to watch because it is germane to the discussion going on. And they want your opinion as soon as you are done watching the video.

You get the link to the file. You tap on it. Then you have to wait for the video to download before watching. If your network is slow, which happens quite a lot, then you’d have to wait for a long time for the video to download.

Your chat mate on the other hand is getting impatient. Harrying you to quit wasting time as if it is your fault the network is bad. It would even be worse if the file is very large.

Jan Koum. founder and CEO of WhatsApp

You are nodding your head now in agreement I suppose. This is the life of all WhatsApp users especially in poor communities with bad or fluctuating networks.

WhatsApp just fixed that problem, in a manner of speaking. The update to WhatsApp now provides for streaming videos without having to download first. Just think YouTube plus an ability to download automatically.

So instead of waiting for the video to download before watching, you can now chose to just watch it directly. And while watching, the video is also downloading in the background.

Now if you are used to streaming video services like YouTube, you’d know one of the problems of streaming is buffering which occurs frequently. The length of buffering is directly linked to the strength of your internet connection.

WhatsApp video streaming feature
Video buffering, common feature in streaming videos

So for those with good internet signal, buffering is only a matter of seconds before the video starts streaming. And for those with poor internet, buffering can be anything from several seconds to minutes.

Sometimes, you’d even get tired of waiting and just give up on watching.

I had to mention buffering because the new update to WhatsApp does not solve the problem of unnecessary buffering due to poor networks. So that is the downside of this new update.

However, people whose internet signal is perennially strong would save a lot of time by streaming WhatsApp videos. They are the ones rejoicing.

This new update to WhatsApp is just one in many of the new changes to WhatsApp in the last few months.

Just a few weeks ago, WhatsApp added the ability to make video calls, directly challenging Microsoft’s Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, Google’s Duo, and a host of other video calling apps presently seeking our attention.

Though WhatsApp came to the video calls party rather late, the huge subscribers base means WhatsApp is starting at the top.

Over 1 billion people use WhatsApp around the world. Even if a fraction of those users buy into the video calling feature, it would still be a significant number to rival or even surpass the well known Skype.

WhatsApp video streaming feature
WhatsApp Video calls; one of the features recently added to WhatsApp

Video related features are not the only things WhatsApp technicians have been adding to the app. Quite recently too, updates to the app included features taken directly from Snapchat to attract new and younger users while at the same time making sure older users find more reason to stick with WhatsApp.

On the security front, end-to-end encryption was added some time back including a more secure way of making sure other people would find it difficult to get our WhatsApp details without permission.

But things haven’t being all rosy for WhatsApp though. One of the recent updates to the app changed the Terms and Conditions to include the fact that users’ details would be shared with Facebook.

The storm generated by that move is still ongoing. Europe is still in the lead in opposing the sharing of data. Several European countries have take up issues with WhatsApp.

The prominent is the German authorities that ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing user details with Facebook. On the back of that decision, Facebook has decided to suspend collecting WhatsApp user details of Europeans.


image credit: mashable.com; youtube.com; adweek.com; technozed.com

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