Wed. May 31st, 2023

WhatsApp is currently one of the most popular applications in the world. It has more than two billion active users, a figure that is growing at a dizzying pace day after day.

To imagine ‘our life without it’, for many would be a huge void since instant messaging, well used, facilitates in many cases our way of communicating. That is why Meta is working on it to renew it, and is developing a new update that will consist of transcribing audios natively .

This update is a very significant change as it will allow users to learn the content of a message without having to listen to it patiently from beginning to end, especially when they are of infinite length.

Also, the ability to transcribe voice memos and read a message instead of listening to it will allow people with hearing problems or limited hearing to transcribe the voice memos they receive from people who, for example, are unaware of their situation.

To date, although there are applications for transcribing audios on WhatsApp, they have been third-party solutions that were not always the safest. This function will be completely unique to WhatsApp, following the steps that Telegram recently took with the presentation of Telegram Premium, its paid subscription that includes precisely this new feature.

The portal WABetaInfo has discovered in the betas of WhatsApp for iOS a clear reference to an audio transcription feature. Currently, WhatsApp does not have a paid mode, so it is reasonable to think that this transcriber will be accessible to everyone once it arrives officially.

It has also had access to a screenshot in which a menu appears that tells why these transcriptions are not available. In it WhatsApp explains to the user that no words have been recognized, and that the transcriptions are not set in the language of the voice memos to be transcribed. On the other hand, a small menu appears to change the language of the transcriptions.

This opens the door to the transcriber being able to make transcriptions in several languages, simply by asking the user to choose the language he/she prefers. Logically, it is easy to imagine that at the launch of this new feature, there will be a limited number of supported languages, and that over time Meta will add more languages to this function.

Transcriptions are always made locally, thanks to a system of downloading language packs and are never shared with WhatsApp or with the owner of the operating system, in this case iOS. As with the audios themselves, these transcriptions are only listenable by the user, and no one else, maintaining privacy around these transcriptions.

At the moment, this action is being tested in the WhatsApp beta version for iOS and it is not known when it will be available to everyone.

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