For the longest time, Twitter has stuck to its core identity of a social network that revolves around bursts of short text posts, sometimes accompanied by photos or videos. Recently, however, it has been striking off in other directions, from Instagram Stories-like Fleets to Clubhouse-like Spaces. It seems to have a fascination with the power of the human voice given the new features it has been experimenting with, the latest of which allows users to send voice messages in at least three countries.
This isn’t Twitter’s first foray into audio communication on a mostly text-based platform. Aside from Spaces, which is more like a group voice chat or community hall, Twitter started testing the ability to attach voice snippets to Tweets. This new experimental feature is more like the latter but on a more personal level.
As is often the case, some things are better said and heard, especially when typing it out is too cumbersome or takes too long. With Voice DMs, users can record a 140-second voice clip to capture the feeling of the moment or send a more personal message. You have to do it in a private message, though, or create one if it doesn’t exist yet.
Unlike voice tweets, voice DMs can be created on both Android and iOS apps but not on a Web browser yet. You can, however, listen to voice messages on any device. At the moment, it is being tested in India, Brazil, and Japan only.
Twitter is hardly the first to add voice recording to its messaging system and it is admittedly a more reasonable new feature compared to its other experiments. Unlike Fleets or Spaces or even Voice Tweets, it doesn’t take anything away from the short text format that defines Twitter. Whether it becomes available to all users, however, will depend on how popular it becomes.