(Credit: LinkedIn)

LinkedIn, the professional social network claiming about 562 million members around the world, has added voice messages to its iOS and Android apps -- a feature that's getting a lot of snark on the Internet, despite no one appearing to have a problem with it in iMessage. If you're visiting the website in a browser, you won't be able to create audio messages, but you can listen to them.

SEE: WhatsApp adds Siri hands-free texting and notification previews to its iOS app

Though the snark is unwarranted, that's not to say that audio messages will change your world. LinkedIn argues, "People speak about four times faster than they type," and that some of us are better speakers than writers. And leaving messages can be better than calling because it allows the recipient to respond on their own time.

The thing is, most people can read a message more quickly than it takes to hear it spoken, as most YouTube tutorial videos will be happy to demonstrate. And successful businessing tends to favor those who go after the sale or customer, rather than those who politely wait for their turn.

Despite that, there's something to be said for a business contact hearing your voice, rather than just reading what you write, because voice can do a better job of personalizing you. This is why we still take business trips to meet people face-to-face despite the ubiquity of video conferencing; the more present you can be, the more of a bond you can create.

To create a voice message, just open a conversation with one of your contacts within the mobile app, tap the small microphone button that pops up right above the virtual keyboard, and long-tap the big blue microphone when the keyboard slides away. With your finger on the blue button, you can record for up to 60 seconds.

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Lift your finger of the screen, and the message will be sent. If you want to cancel, slide your finger away from the button, then lift. The interaction method isn't that intuitive, and there doesn't appear to be a preview function so that you can check your audio, but it's an interesting tool to have.

LinkedIn says that the feature is rolling out now, which means that not everyone will get it right away. They plan for it to be available worldwide "in the next few weeks."

The takeaways

  1. LinkedIn's mobile app is getting a feature that will let you record and send audio messages of up to 60 seconds in length, like you can in iMessage. Website visitors can listen, but they can't create audio messages -- that requires the app.
  2. The feature should be available worldwide within the next few weeks.

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Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at Download.com.