NO DOWNLOADS: WhatsApp introduces ‘Direct Play’ for videos

whatsapp-betaThe upcoming version of WhatsApp messenger, which is currently in testing phase, has removed the ‘download’ button next to videos and has instead replaced it with a ‘play’ button.

With this, users can directly play a video even without having to download the file first.


The main purpose of the feature is to help users to save their data allowance. Allowing users to play the video directly from the other person’s phone helps them to stop watching the video halfway through, thereby saving bandwidth.

For example, if it’s a 10 MB video of 2 minutes, and you decide it’s not of interest after watching it for a minute, you can simply close the playback and you would have consumed only 5-6 MB, instead of the full 10 MB as was the case earlier.

In the existing version of WhatsApp, you cannot start watching it before it is fully downloaded. If you didn’t like the video, all you can do is delete it. But user has to pay the data charges for downloading the clip.


Unlike on other medium, the feature to sample the clip without downloading it is likely to be highly appreciated by most users on WhatsApp because of the high levels of ‘useless’ and spam forwards.

People routinely share everything from pranks, songs, devotional videos and even ‘titillating’ stuff on WhatsApp. However, it is only after downloading something that many people realize that it’s not what it was purported to be or the ‘quality’ of the clip was not what they expected.

This is made worse because, unlike on a computer, most people have to pay a heavy data charges of around 2-5 rupees for a 5 minute clip.

In addition, many of them use 2G-level connections, and a 20 MB file could take 20 minutes or more to download.

directplayIf you want to test the new feature, you can get WhatsApp Beta from the official Google Play store here. Do not install WhatsApp Beta from other sources, as they will contain virus and other malware that will hijack your phone and use it for criminal activities.

Many users who clicked on such links — which promise things like ‘Golden Edition’ of WhatsApp — have found themselves to be the victims of fraud and cheating.

If you click on the above link and agree to become a ‘tester’, WhatsApp will automatically show an update option if you visit Google Play store. Testing versions of software usually have some bugs and may not work smoothly.