Twitter has begun testing a new voice messaging feature for direct messages on the platform. Since it is still technically in the experimental stage, the feature will be rolled out gradually to users in India, Brazil, and Japan starting Wednesday, February 17. Voice DMs expand on the ability to send voice memos as direct messages or DMs just like voice tweets that the company unveiled last year. And, as with voice tweets, each voice DM can be up to 140 seconds long.
Sending a voice DM is pretty simple. You can open an existing conversation in your private messages on Twitter or start a new one. Tap a small icon to the right of the message box to start recording your message, and tap a second time to finish. You can also listen to your message before sending it. iOS users can also press and hold the voice recorder icon to start recording a message, and swipe up and release the icon to send it after they finish talking.
Sending voice messages is currently only available for both Android and iOS users, but users can listen to the messages they receive in a web browser. Twitter says the new feature will provide more options for users to express themselves and create a more human experience for both storytellers and listeners.
“India is a priority market for Twitter and that is why we’re constantly testing new features and learning from people’s experience on the service here. We’re excited to bring the voice messages in DMs experiment to the country and give people a new way to express themselves and help them connect through the nuances, emotion, and empathy built by hearing someone’s voice,” said Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director of Twitter India.
Twitter first introduced audio messaging to its platform via voice tweets last June. It allows users to send voice memos as tweets with or without accompanying text.
Similar features are already available on other services like Instagram DMs, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Twitter has already tested a bunch of audio-related features over the year. For instance, Twitter Spaces, which are voice chat rooms similar to what you can find on Clubhouse. Plans for voice direct messages on Twitter were first announced in September last year.