WhatsApp hits fast forward (and rewind) with a new video feature, rolling out to iOS and Android users very soon

A woman looking at her phone while out in public, smiling widely and laughing
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Kaspars Grinvalds)

WhatsApp has been busy developing a video fast-forward and rewind feature, with the new feature arriving for iOS devices soon. The feature will apply to videos sent and received within the instant messaging app, with users able to double-tap the right side of the screen to fast forward and the left side of the screen to rewind the video currently playing by ten seconds. 

According to Neowin, the feature has been in testing since last year, and works similarly to analogous features in mobile streaming apps like YouTube or Netflix. This feature will come included in Whatsapp by default once users update to the latest version via the App Store. You can read the full changelog for yourself if you’d like more details on what Whatsapp has changed for iOS users, but this is the headline item. 

Some other standout features arriving in the popular messaging app are the ability to instantly record videos while in chats by long-pressing the camera icon next to the chat’s text field, and a revised design of the chat attachment tray. 

Woman smiling widely and looking at her phone, while holding her hand up

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Ground Picture)

A whole bushel of new features, with more to come

The changelog’s full list of features will reportedly roll out to all users in the coming weeks, although it doesn’t make mention of Google Play - only iOS. Fortunately, Whatsapp users with Android can apparently already make use of the new quick forward/rewind feature, which tracks since the beta testing that was being done by Whatsapp took place on Android. All users can also skip forward or backward by opening the video and dragging the progress bar within the video player by the amount of time they’d like to skip.

The Video Messages instant video recording and messaging feature entered testing last year for iOS and Android, allowing users to instantly record and send videos up to a minute long. Previously it was somewhat hidden, located confusingly within the microphone instant record feature. 

Neowin notes that there are more features in Whatsapp’s pipeline too, like Favorites for the Calls tab, allowing users to set the default media upload quality, the ability to filter group chats, enabling users to share status updates from companion devices, and more. 

These are all interesting potential additions to the popular messaging app, although it seems that Whatsapp is currently not focusing on some issues around privacy that have users turning to competing encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram. That said, for existing users who are happy enough with Whatsapp’s performance and functionality, these sound like useful additions and I can see users positively receiving them. 


Computing Writer

Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.

She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.