As the world continues to battle the spread of coronavirus, the internet industry is invariably facing the brunt of keeping businesses running and keeping people occupied. To ensure that its servers do not get bogged down, even WhatsApp is bringing changes to its app.
Over this month, country after country brought impositions and lockdowns for people, asking them to stay indoors and work remotely where possible. Naturally, people’s dependence on the internet skyrocketed overnight. It led to a significant rise in the number of users of many apps, especially OTT platforms, social media, and messaging services. To ensure that their infrastructure doesn’t get fried, they brought in certain restrictions around the world.
WhatsApp is joining the fray now, by restricting the duration of video clips shared as Status to 15 seconds. Videos will automatically be trimmed if you do not specify which segment you would like to use. This imposition has been brought only to India for now. Not entirely surprising, considering that India has the most number of WhatsApp users.
Bringing the limitation only to Status posts is perhaps the least invasive way of reducing data consumption without significantly affecting the user experience. It’s also because videos as Status do not have to be explicitly downloaded, unlike everywhere else on WhatsApp - they just start buffering when you see them.
WhatsApp isn’t the only one taking such steps. Even YouTube has restricted videos to 480p in India for mobile users, as that forms a significant chunk of the total users. These steps need to be collectively adhered to so that everyone can continue enjoying these apps without issues. It’s unclear how long this restriction will be in place, but we doubt it will be removed any time soon.