If sending out an unprompted LinkedIn message to a connection you barely know isn’t awkward enough, don’t worry — there’s more where that came from. The job-focused social network has now made it possible for users to send voice messages to connections, effectively the 21st-century answer to the cold call. Really, it’s just getting harder and harder to avoid people these days.
On Thursday, July 26, LinkedIn launched the ability to both record and send voice messages of up to one minute on LinkedIn messaging. You’ll have to have the mobile app in order to actually create and distribute your messages, but you can listen to these recordings from either the app or desktop version of the site.
LinkedIn is positioning the new feature as a more convenient way to communicate with connections once a conversation has already begun. “Have you ever typed out a long message and thought about how much faster and easier it would be to say it out loud?” the company asks in a blog post announcement. Sure, that’s all well and good, but chances are that the folks you’re chatting with on LinkedIn aren’t exactly your closest of friends, so leaving them a voice message may not be the most desirable way to communicate.
Still, LinkedIn notes, “Whether you’re responding while walking or multitasking, or need to give an in-depth explanation, voice messages let you more easily and quickly communicate in your own voice with your connections.”
Sure, on the one hand, it seems as though this could be a much more efficient way to get your point across, and could actually eliminate the preliminary need for a phone call if you’re chatting with a recruiter or a potential recruit. And for some, speaking out loud is probably a bit less stressful than typing out a response, particularly in a professional setting. That said, given that LinkedIn can often lead to several unsolicited messages that go either ignored or unchecked (honestly, I just don’t have the patience), voice messages could just further clog up already busy inboxes.
While LinkedIn will likely never have the sort of broad appeal that other social networks like Facebook or Twitter boast, the network is still extremely strong. The company says that it has over 562 million members, and indeed, recruiters, HR members, and other job seekers often turn to the platform when it comes time to hunt for a job. It also hasn’t had nearly as many privacy issues or fake news accusations, making it one of the cleaner social media options available. Let’s just hope that voice messages don’t rub too many people the wrong way.