Meta and Ray-Bans’s Stories glasses are adding WhatsApp support, letting users make hands-free calls, send text messages, and hear messages read aloud. The addition follows the rollout of similar Facebook Messenger features last year, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says users will soon be able to directly reply to WhatsApp and Messenger messages with voice commands as well.
The new features, partially leaked in April, integrate Stories more closely into the Meta ecosystem. They continue Meta’s moves toward becoming a virtual and augmented reality company as well as a social networking one. They’re also a potential stopgap following Meta’s delay of its full-fledged consumer AR glasses rollout, building out audio-focused AR with its existing hardware lineup. It’s following the lead of companies like Bose, which introduced and then discontinued a set of AR audio glasses, as well as Amazon’s Echo Frames. Stories, of course, also retain their core feature: capturing photos and videos to post on Facebook.
For now, however, the new feature will have a limited impact on many WhatsApp users since Stories are available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia — not massive WhatsApp markets like India and Brazil.