WhatsApp will now let users increase the playback speed of audio messages.

WhatsApp has launched Fast Playback – a new feature that lets users increase the playback speed of audio messages if they’re in a rush.

The feature, released globally for users of the app on Android and iOS, lets users change from the default 1x playback setting, to 1.5x speed or 2x speed.

When users receive an audio message, they just need to tap where it says ‘1x’ to increase to 1.5x speed, and tap again to bump this to 2x speed.

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Fast Playback speeds up the audio without changing the pitch of the sender’s voice, meaning they won’t sound as if they’ve just inhaled a balloon full of helium.

Senders of the audio message can also choose to hear themselves in 1.5x or 2x speed after they’ve sent it.

For senders and receivers, the option to speed up the message will appear only when they’ve pressed play.

WhatsApp said the feature will help save users time – especially considering audio messages on the platform can last more than an hour.

‘These days we need all the time-saving tips and tricks we can find,’ a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

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‘Voice messages on WhatsApp are a particularly useful tool for people short on time, who are multitasking or who have friends and family on different time zones.

‘However, it can be hard to find the time to listen to a long voice message, which is why WhatsApp has introduced Fast Playback, which speeds up the message, and reduces the time it takes to listen to your voice messages.’

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, introduced the ability to send audio messages back in 2013.

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Users just need to select a chat and hold down the microphone symbol next to the text box to start recording. Releasing the microphone symbol will automatically send the message.

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