WhatsApp reduces time limit for status to 15 seconds in India due to increased traffic

WhatsApp reduces time limit for status to 15 seconds in India due to increased traffic
  • WhatsApp has temporarily reduced the time limit for status to 15 seconds in India.
  • This aims to reduce strain on network infrastructure during the Coronavirus lockdown.
  • YouTube restricted video streaming quality to 480p for mobile users.
India is currently under a 21-day nationwide lockdown to control the spread of Coronavirus in the country. This has left people with more free time and nowhere to go, leading to an explosion of social media usage.

WhatsApp has reduced the time limit for status to 15 seconds from the earlier 30 seconds. This will help reduce strain on internet networks during the Coronavirus lockdown at a time when internet usage is soaring.

This change was first spotted by WABetaInfo on March 28 and the new restriction is now live for Android and iOS users. In its tweet, it said, “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.”

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Temporary move aimed at reducing internet usage

This restriction on posting longer video status is likely to be temporary and may be lifted after the lockdown. The increased usage not only results in increased internet usage, but may also affect WhatsApp's servers.

When someone posts a status on WhatsApp, it is stored on the company’s servers for 24 hours. The increased usage may have put a strain on its servers as well.

WhatsApp has witnessed a 40% increase in usage

As per a report by Kantar, an insights and consulting firm, WhatsApp has on an average witnessed a 40% increase in usage due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This could be higher for different countries as Spain witnessed a 76% increase in the time spent on WhatsApp.

YouTube restricts streaming quality to 480p for mobile users

YouTube has restricted the video streaming quality on its platform to 480p or SD for mobile users to help reduce the strain on internet infrastructure. This means that you will only be able to view videos in 480p or less on mobile.

YouTube has not put any such restriction of its desktop version yet.

Netflix, Amazon Prime movie to reduce telco stress

The telecom industry body (COAI) urged the streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, YouTube and others to initiate measures that will ease pressure on their networks. And, they have complied.

“Given the crisis, we've developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic on telecom networks by 25 percent while also maintaining the quality of our service,” Netflix’s VP (Content Delivery) Ken Florance said, according to a PTI report.

Amazon Prime Video said that it is working to “reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for the customers.”

See also:

JioFiber, Airtel offers to help you work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic

How to reduce data usage so that you don’t run out of data during the Coronavirus pandemic

As India works from home, telcos struggle to maintain speeds and service