While BlackBerry is making some headlines with the news of BBM coming to Android and iOS, the other players in the instant messaging market aren't slowing down their pace either. In fact, one could get away with saying they're ramping up their efforts in a seemingly appropriately timed manner.
Such is the case with WhatsApp, who has now started to roll out voice-messaging on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone. According to our friends over at WPCentral, the addition of voice messaging doesn't require an app update as it all appears to be done server side but for now, the options are showing on a small number of devices.
From the look and sound of it, the voice-messaging doesn't appear to be as robust as say BBM Voice but more along the lines of sending a voice note through BBM but in a push-to-talk fashion like Voxer.
When users enter into a chat with a contact, to the left of the text window a microphone icon should now be present. Users can simply press and hold that icon to record a voice clip which is then sent instantly to the contact.
We've not noticed anything different with the BlackBerry 10 version as of yet among those of us who have WhatsApp installed but like all things, it could just take a while for it to roll out. In any case, it's great to see WhatsApp improving their app by offering new options but I'm left wondering if this is something that BBM will also introduce in the future, much like how Chris pondered it before me.
Technically, it's kind of already there by way of voice notes but that option is hidden behind quite a few menus and usability is a key factor for people. If you hide something behind menus, no one is going to think to use it or care to look for it whereas if you put something to the forefront, more people will see it, try it out and ultimately end up using it more regularly.