In a truly bizarre move, LinkedIn is adding voice messages to the professional networking platform.
The voice recording feature, which will roll out to all users over the coming weeks, is available via the iOS or Android app. Users can receive messages on both mobile and on the LinkedIn website. The voice messages can be up to one minute long.
While LinkedIn has proven itself a powerful tool for professional networking, with particular popularity among recruiters and HR professionals, it can also feel a bit like a second overwhelming email inbox. Voice messages could prove to be a nice break from the text, but could also add a new weight to all the inbound messages users receive on the platform.
So why did LinkedIn add voice messaging?
According to the blog post, the reasons are three-fold.
The first reason is for convenience — LinkedIn thinks that sending voice messages on the go is easier than typing them out. The second reason is that the asynchronous nature of LinkedIn, as compared to phone calls and voicemails, is easier for recipients of voice messages. And finally, the company believes that users can better express themselves via voice.
While all that may be true, I’m not sure voice messages fit with the overall purpose of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is predominantly used for connecting with people that you don’t already know, in a professional setting. It’s relatively rare to call up someone you don’t know at all to discuss potential employment or recruiting, whereas sending that person an email is perfectly acceptable.
Using the feature seems pretty easy. Simply tap and hold the microphone icon to record your message, and release the icon to send. To cancel, slide your finger off the microphone icon before you release.
LinkedIn, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2016, now has 562 million users.