The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has bought the world to its toes. As of today, there are over 700,000 confirmed cases globally, and more than 34,000 people have lost their lives to this highly contagious virus. Everyone is forced to stay indoors and in self-isolation. As most people are staying indoors and barely leaving their houses, the internet is facing all the burdens. Most people are using the internet like never before, both for work and for entertainment. This huge spike in internet usage has made the internet slower, and that is a big problem for people who rely on the internet to get their work done. Big companies are also facing the burden as their servers are running in full capacity. And due to the lockdown, it is becoming harder for companies to manage servers. This has forced many big internet companies to resort to extreme measures to keep the server load in check.
WhatsApp – the most popular instant messaging app in the world with over 2 billion active users – has decided to reduce the WhatsApp video status duration from 30 seconds to 15 seconds. For those who didn’t know, WhatsApp lets you share images and videos as status on WhatsApp. These statuses remain visible to all the contact for 24 hours. Earlier the limit for video status was 30 seconds.
This news has come right after WhatsApp announced that they have improved their server capacity to handle the increase in usage and that there would be no problem going forward. The news of WhatsApp putting a limit to WhatsApp video status duration came from WABetaInfo – a WhatsApp news platform. According to a tweet posted by @WABetainfo, this decision is “probably an initiative to reduce the traffic on the server infrastructures.”
Currently, this ban is only happening in India, and WhatsApp may extend it to other countries if required. There is no official word from Facebook or WhatsApp regarding this matter. We will keep you posted if/when there is any response from either Facebook or WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is not the only digital platform to give up the users’ experience to reduce server strain. A couple of days back, YouTube set a cap on video quality on mobile devices by limiting it to 480p only. Similarly, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, and many other streaming platforms have temporarily agreed to reduce video quality to save bandwidth.
Anyway, if you ask me, I would say if this helps in saving bandwidth then it is a welcoming step. What do you think? Please let me know in the comment section.
Stay Safe, Stay Home. Together we will defeat this monster and go back to our normal lives.