In July of 2018, social media giant LinkedIn announced that it would be rolling out voice messaging on its platform, so that business people would have the additional option of choosing voice as well as text-based interactions. This is undoubtedly in deference to the vast number of users who prefer generating spoken content rather than typed messaging. While both are prone to errors, either of the typed variety or the misinterpreted voice variety, there is no question that it’s easier to speak content than it is to type it up. It’s also considerably faster to dictate a message than it is to type it up, since most people speak at a rate which is around four times faster than the speed at which they type.
Presumably, LinkedIn has been listening to its user base and has developed the voice messaging in response to a groundswell of requests for it, although this was not specifically stated in the announcement. However, what was mentioned in the announcement were the reasons that LinkedIn felt it was important to include the option for voice messaging on its platform, and these are the reasons detailed below.
Keep in mind that any messages which you send via voice text can only be up to one minute in length before they would be truncated, so when making use of this feature, it’s best to keep your messages short, and to have an idea of what you’re going to say prior to recording.
Ease of sending voice messages
The ease-of-use factor is a credible one, especially if you happen to be away from your computer when it becomes necessary to send some type of message. The hands-free component is a convenience which is hard to deny, and there are of course, times where typing is just downright impossible unless you’re sitting right down at your machine. Many business professionals who are on the go frequently would benefit a great deal from having this kind of hands-free option available to them.
Convenience for recipients
The person who receives your messages may not immediately have time to listen to them and evaluate their content. In some cases, recipients of email messages fall into the routine of quickly scanning subject lines, or noting who the senders of emails were, and either dismissing them or unintentionally forgetting about them. Emails which are dismissed until a later time often end up being forgotten entirely, and any important content would thus be lost.
With spoken messaging, it’s more likely that the recipient will have the time and inclination to listen to a message when it arrives, rather than deferring it to a later time that may never come. Another way that a voice message can be convenient for recipients is in comparison to making a phone call to that person. If you were to actually call someone with an important message, they would be obliged drop what they’re doing at the moment to take the call, unless they simply let it go to Voicemail. When you send them a LinkedIn voice message, it will appear in their Inbox, and they will notice it at a time when they’re free, and scanning their Inbox anyway, which will almost always be a better time for them to listen to your message.
More personal connection
Of the reasons identified for implementing voice messaging, the personal factor is probably the most pressing, and the one which is most appealing to the user community. Whenever you send a message that is delivered in your own voice, with all your own voice inflections and tones, it provides a much more personal communication to the recipient than would a typed text. There is also less chance of misinterpreting the intent of the spoken message, because there’s no ambiguity of the words used, nor is there room for misinterpreting the tone of the message. It’s very easy by contrast, to misinterpret the intent of a typed text, especially if several of the keywords in it are unclear or ambiguous.
How to use LinkedIn voice messaging?
If you’re one of those business people who feel like they don’t have a minute’s rest throughout the day, voice messaging may be the perfect solution for maximizing the time you do have. You can do voice messaging while you’re traveling, walking to or from meetings at your company, or just plain multi-tasking three or four things at once, so this could be a very useful tool for accomplishing some tasks more quickly. Here’s how you use LinkedIn’s new voice messaging feature:
- with LinkedIn already open, start the LinkedIn Messenger
- press the icon of a microphone on your keyboard
- tap the microphone icon and hold it while you’re recording your voice message
- release your finger from the microphone icon in order to send the message
- to cancel the send, swipe your finger away from the microphone instead of releasing
If you make a mistake while recording, you don’t have to send the corrupted message. All you have to do is make sure not to completely release your finger from the microphone icon, and instead slide your finger away from it while you maintain pressure on the screen surface. This will avoid sending the recorded message, which you can then cancel and begin all over again.
Criticism of voice messaging
While there’s no question that LinkedIn can be an extremely useful platform for business people and others, some users have already questioned the need for voice messaging, since in effect, it adds to the volume of unsolicited communications which recipients might find in their Inbox every day, and be obliged to weed through. It’s fair to say that initial reaction to the announcement of voice messaging has not been met with overwhelming enthusiasm, but on the other hand, there are some legitimate points of value provided by the new feature. Regardless of how you might feel about it in principle, it’s worth a try to see if it can be of value to your personally in your busy daily routine.