Why we love Voice Notes

A voice note illustration with sound bars gradually rises and falls outside the text bubble.

A voice note illustration with sound bars gradually rises and falls outside the text bubble.

Photo: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Voicemail may be dead, but a quick little audio note is rich.

Why it matters: People can increasingly leave Quippy or professional self-recorded files on apps for work, dating and other personal comms, which many senders and recipients find make for better connections.

Often called “voice message”. or “audio message,” a form favored by generations who grew up with screens and supposedly abandoned phone calls and voicemails.

  • There could be a lot behind the growing popularity of voice notes, whether it’s COVID-related isolation, long-distance bonding, or the plain old functionality of walking and talking without the need for a schedule.
  • Plus, a group chat studded with voice memos can be like “a real-time podcast that doesn’t stop,” says Katy Perry, 36, who works in tech in New York.
  • For anyone with problems using their hands or arms, voice notes can be an easier way to communicate than texting.

By the numbers: A recent YouGov poll conducted by Vox found that around 30% of respondents communicate via voice note “weekly, daily or several times a day”, with around 43% of 18- to 29-year-olds saying they do so at least weekly. doing.

  • WhatsApp, an early adopter of the format, said last year that users had sent 7 billion voice messages on the app.
  • On Hinge, which became the first major dating app to add an audio feature in 2021, voice notes grew 37% between January and February 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, a spokesperson told Axios. They are most popular among millennials.
  • Voice Notes is also integrated into work chat platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Why we love Voice Notes

Researchers who study sound and related technologies, Enthusiasts, too, pointed to the reason the form keeps people coming back that text can’t always convey: humor! Drama! Vivid image!

  • In an age of podcast listenership, audio hangouts à la clubhouse, and zoom fatigue, voice notes allow for familiar yet complex storytelling—even just enough. Be a memory.

Voice note lovers Those who spoke to Axios praised the form for its intimacy and convenience.

  • Trinity Alicia, a 23-year-old program coordinator at Boston University, told Axios that they let you “get out whatever you want to say without interruption” and “let your thoughts flow.”
  • After college in San Diego and growing up in Maryland, Alicia relies on the medium to keep up with friends from across the country, as well as her boyfriend who lives in a different time zone.

“This can be spicy,” Jim Broderick, 22, who works in consulting in Washington, DC, can think when he gets a voice message notification on iMessage or Snapchat. “It makes the stories feel more real, and I feel closer to them [the sender]. It’s better when I hear someone’s voice.”

  • “I think I’m more inclined to listen and pay attention,” compared to a group chat bursting with texts, he added.

Detractors are out there. Taylor Crane, a 33-year-old startup founder based in Brooklyn, thinks voice notes serve some purpose but often prefers the back-and-forth interjections and immediacy of phone calls.

  • They shouldn’t be used for logistics, according to Crane, who admits they can better capture emotion and nuance.

  • Software features also come into play. He prefers the feature on WhatsApp and Telegram to Apple’s iMessage.
The science behind voice notes

There is science and social psychology Behind the appeal of voice notes.

  • Even if they are side-by-side and shared consciously, voice memos eliminate the effort of typing or editing words. People often convey the same story through multiple messages, creating a different experience for the receiver.
  • “We pick up on how someone feels in 200 milliseconds,” said Silk Polman, head of the UK-based psychology department at the University of Essex.
  • Especially for people who are having difficult conversations or maintaining a long distance relationship, it is really important.

Among the factors Behind that near-instant perception are: pitch, speed or speed, loudness, sound quality and intonation, according to Polman.

  • “We establish whether a person’s mood is good or bad, whether someone is happy or upset with us. This rapid information extraction allows people to adapt their behavior,” she added.

Amit Kumar, assistant professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Texas-Austin, researches happiness and communication. A big takeaway from his work: “If your goal is social engagement, it makes more sense to use your voice.”

  • In a 2021 study, people tried to reach an old friend by phone or email. Kumar found that interactions with voice contributed to significantly better bonds across age groups.

Bottom line: Voice Note tech has spanned more than a decade, with WeChat launching the feature in early 2011 and Apple following suit in 2014.

  • As tech gets integrated into more apps and younger people get involved, dishing out voice memos may not be going away.

#love #Voice #Notes

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