How to use Instagram’s new voice message feature

Social media platforms are always looking for new ways to let you connect with friends and loved ones, whether that is by sending pictures of yourself with a fake crown, overlaying a cartoon version of yourself during video calls, or engaging in vicious gif battles. Recently, Instagram released its newest crack at personalizing your direct messages (DMs) — voice messaging — which harkens back to a simpler time. These messages allow you to record for a full minute of audio, giving you plenty of time to lay it all out. Here’s how you can whisper sweet nothings (or anything else) into the ears of your followers.

First, open Instagram and jump into a conversation, new or ongoing. From here, you will see a freshly added microphone on the right side of the “…” field joining the likes of the image and plus icons. There are a few ways you can record once you’ve made it to this point.

The most obvious option is to hold down the microphone and start blathering. As soon as you’re done, simply let go and the message will be on its way to the recipient, so choose your words wisely. Don’t worry too much, though. If you do fumble your speech or regret whatever you said (please use voice messaging responsibly), just swipe to the left, drag the recording to the trash, and you can pretend it never happened.

If your fingers are feeling a bit lazy, you can also swipe up once you’ve held down the microphone icon to reveal a lock. Releasing your finger with the lock on the screen will allow you to talk hands-free, after which you can manually send your masterpiece by tapping the up arrow or send it into oblivion by tapping the trash icon instead.

The last, and we think most adorable, way you can send voice messages is to hold the phone to your ear from inside the DM thread, listen for a gentle beep, and speak just like you’re on a phone call. Then, when you bring the phone back down, those familiar send and trash icons will be waiting for you in case you have any of those second thoughts we mentioned earlier.

messaging seems like a no-brainer, and while we’re almost surprised that it took this long, we’re glad to see it has been implemented so seamlessly. With this update, Instagram has once again bestowed upon us just one more feature in the bottomless toolbox we can use to stay in touch online.

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