Whatsapp has added voice texts, letting users record and send voice messages, as the chat app continues to soar in popularity with 300m active monthly users worldwide.
The voice texts can last an unlimited duration and automatically play through headphones if they are plugged in.
If no headphonwes are inserted, the messages are played through the phone's earpiece when the device is placed next to a user's head and through the speakerphone if held away.
Message creators can also see when their recording has been listened to.
The move will help Whatsappt compete against Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Voxer and BBM which already offer the function.
The new feature is being rolled out this week to apps for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Nokia S40 platforms.
The firm makes money by charging users an annual 0.99 cent (64p) fee.
The app still lacks the ability to host interactive voice or video conversations, which is possible on Microsoft's Skype and Blackberry's BBM apps. However, Whatsapp works across more platforms.
The company announced the availability of this new feature while announcing that it has now hit the 300 million monthly active users mark. They gained a huge 50 million new active users in just 2 months.
WhatsApp users now send 11 billion messages and receive 20 billion messages per day - up from 27 billion total in June.