WhatsApp, the favorite instant messenger app for billions of users around the world, has a special place in the Indian society. From good morning till good night and all conversations in between, WhatsApp is something that has a permanence in the life of many. And with that permanence sometimes comes an unnecessary hogging of internet bandwidth. Now WhatsApp is limiting the duration of videos that you can upload as WhatsApp Status—earlier it was 30 seconds, now it is 15 seconds. The conclusion—videos consume internet bandwidth that we can otherwise save for more important tasks. Don’t be shocked and alarmed. Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube and Facebook have had to cut down on the quality of video streams to save the internet lines as millions are sitting at home and relying on the world wide web for their work and entertainment needs due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
This update comes from the good folks over at WABetaInfo, who shared this update on Twitter, “You can no longer send videos to WhatsApp Status if they are longer than 16 seconds: only videos having a duration of 15 seconds will be allowed. This is happening in India and it's probably an initiative to reduce the traffic on the server infrastructures.” Do note that this change, albeit temporary, is rolling out gradually to all users—it does not matter if you are using a WhatsApp Beta version or not. There is expectation that this change will be reverted once the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic blows over.
So, what really is a WhatsApp Status? a WhatsApp Status allows you to share text, photo, video and GIF updates to people who are in your networks (basically, anyone who has your contact saved in their phone) that will automatically disappear after 24 hours. This can be done via WhatsApp for Android and WhatsApp for iPhone. In the larger scheme of things when people need internet to work properly for the critical work from home tasks and then perhaps stream some TV shows or movies to keep their mental health intact, a WhatsApp Status update shouldn't really figure very high on the list of important things in these tough times. Keep calm, and leave some of the internet for others.