Have you ever read a LinkedIn InMail message and thought ‘this would be much more effective if I could hear this person’s voice’?
Well, you’re in luck – this week, LinkedIn has launched a new option to record audio clips within messages, adding to the platform’s connective options.
Yes, LinkedIn has essentially added VoiceMail, which, on the surface, may seem a little outdated, out of place, etc. But there may actually be clear logic to the move.
You might recall that, back in March, we reported that Facebook had started testing out voice clips as a status update option, which, like LinkedIn’s new tool, also seemed a little out of place.
But as noted by TechCrunch at the time, a benefit of voice clips is that they alleviate the requirement to be able to type in different languages, which can sometimes prove more difficult than speaking them, especially if you’re regularly exposed to such within normal conversation.
In Facebook’s case, the option's being tested in India, where a broad range of different languages and dialects are spoken.
And where is LinkedIn seeing the most significant growth in its user base?
As per The Indian Express, from earlier this month:
“LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals, now has over 50 million users from India. With this, India has become the second market outside of the US where the company has been able to reach such a huge audience.”
India is now the platform’s second-biggest market – so while it may be fun to joke about how behind the times LinkedIn is, voice clips may actually serve a greater function than you’d think, while there could also be alternate benefits to the tool in general sharing.
As noted by LinkedIn, the advantages of voice messaging include:
- Easily message on-the-go: People speak about four times faster than they type, making voice messaging great for explaining longer or more complex ideas without the time and involvement of typing and editing a message. It’s also helpful for when you’re on the move and don’t have time to stop and type.
- Get to it when you can: Leaving a voice message can often better for a recipient than calling them since they can listen and respond when they have a free moment.
- Better express yourself: Speaking in your own voice allows you to build a more personal connection and effectively communicate. It’s easier for your tone and personality to come through, which can sometimes get lost in translation in written communications.
The functionality may also become more relevant as people grow increasingly accustomed to speaking into their mobile devices and to their home speaker tools - voice search, it’s worth adding, is expected to account for 50% of all web searches by 2020 according to comScore. So again, while it may not seem like an obvious enhancement to LinkedIn’s messaging functionality, habitual behaviors could make it a more relevant option over time.
LinkedIn has seen huge growth in the use of its on-platform messaging tools, and has been working to further enhance the functionality in a range of ways, including the addition of Active Status to let you know when your connections are online, and more recently, by providing the capacity to add links to messages via the mobile device.
Voice clips adds another element – and as noted, while it may not be for you, it could serve a broader purpose moving forward.
Voice messaging is rolling out now in the LinkedIn app on both iOS and Android, and you’ll be able to receive voice messages on mobile and on web. The feature will be available to all members, globally, within the next few weeks.