Twitter now lets you send voice messages on iOS and Android

Voice messaging is Twitter’s latest feature amid a flurry of updates to the social media platform (Yui Mok/ PA) (PA Wire)
Voice messaging is Twitter’s latest feature amid a flurry of updates to the social media platform (Yui Mok/ PA) (PA Wire)

Twitter is playing catch up with its chat rivals by launching voice messaging on its mobile apps.

The feature, which lets you record and share audio with others, has long been available on WhatsApp and iMessage.

On Twitter, the voice notes option is accessible through direct messages, or DMs. This is the place you go to privately chat to people you may or may not follow.

Best of all, the new feature is free to use, unlike some of the recent updates Twitter has locked behind its subscription.

Currently, you can send brief voice notes of up to 140 seconds, which is far shorter than the undefined duration on WhatsApp. The latter lets you share lengthy voice messages, and even pause and return to recordings before you send them.

Andrea Conway, who leads design at Twitter for core products, tweeted on Thursday that the feature is now available globally.

How to send voice messages on Twitter

In order to use voice messaging on Twitter, you’ll need to update the app first.

Next, head into your DMs by pressing the mail icon at the bottom of the home page.

Now, open or start a chat, and select the audio icon at the far right of the text composition box.

This will automatically start an audio recording, which you can then cancel or share with the recipient.

Once you send the voice note, it will appear in the chat thread alongside your profile pic for you and the recipient to listen to.

As with regular messages, you can add reactions to voice notes and reply to them. In addition, you can delete voice notes for yourself after they’ve been sent by pressing down on them, though they will remain accessible to the recipient.

Twitter beefs up direct messaging

Voice messages have been a long time coming on Twitter. The platform initially tested them in Brazil back in 2020, long before Elon Musk took the reins last October. However, we’ve heard little about the update since - until now.

The feature arrives on Twitter after the platform introduced encrypted direct messages, albeit with some caveats. Chiefly, the secure chat option is restricted to users who have paid for verification.

DMs also contain some security limitations: for example, they aren’t protected against a particular form of cyberattack, known as man-in-the-middle attacks. Twitter also says that rogue Twitter employees may be able to snoop on messages, too.

Nevertheless, regular Twitter users will probably welcome the flurry of updates, including the latest addition.

Broadly speaking, voice notes are a useful alternative for when you can’t be bothered to type out a text, simply don’t like making phone calls, or aren’t ready to appear on video calls.

You may have spotted them popping up in more group chats and one-to-one convos. In particular, voice messages are a popular option among younger people: according to TechRound, 33 per cent of respondents aged between 18 to 24 said they regularly use voice notes to chat with friends.

On the other hand, just five per cent of boomers use voice notes to communicate, according to WhatGadget.