Instagram began rolling out a new voice messaging feature this week, to its Direct messaging service, similar to the one already available on Messenger and WhatsApp.
The new feature, dubbed “walkie-talkie” by the various news outlets covering the rollout, pretty much gives users the ability to record audio messages to send directly to contacts on Direct. To do so, they hold down a new microphone button in a conversation to record a message which is then sent to a contact. The other person sees a waveform in their message stream.
Messages sent with the new feature can be up to a minute long, so they are more useful for short messaging, and they remain in conversations as long as a user wants them to be there, unlike audio messages on Apple’s Messages which disappear after two minutes unless they are kept.
The feature has already been around for some time, in apps like Messenger and WhatsApp, but now it’s making its way to Instagram on iOS and Android. It comes just as watchOS 5 introduces a native “walkie-talkie feature,” so this is obviously something people are using a lot. If you don’t see it yet, all you have to do is update your Instagram app to the latest version and wait.