Instagram just launched a fun, new 'walkie-talkie' feature: Here's how to use it

  • Instagram rolled out a new walkie-talkie feature globally this week.
  • It’s as easy as most other voice-messaging features popular on WhatsApp and Telegram.
  • You can record for up to one minute and the messages don’t automatically disappear after a set period of time, like Instagram Stories do.

Instagram launched a new direct messaging walkie-talkie feature globally Monday, meaning you can now send personalised love ballads to your favourite celebrity (looking at you, Drake).

The voice messages, which you can send to your friends or anyone with open DMs on Instagram, can be recorded for up to one minute and are stored permanently in both one-on-one or group direct messages. Unlike Instagram Stories, they won’t automatically disappear after a set period of time. The move comes just six months after the social media company released its video-calling feature, which competes against similar offerings from Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.

Instagram’s new walkie-talkie feature is basically as intuitive as most of the other voice-messaging features from popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Zello. Here’s how to use it:

Open up Instagram and go into direct messages. Select the person you want to voice message, and at the bottom there will be an icon of what looks like a 1960s microphone.

Instagram walkie-talkie featureInstagram

Hold down the icon to record a message. You can also swipe up to the lock symbol to record without needing to hold down the button, or swipe left to cancel. Releasing the icon automatically sends your voice message, though you can swipe to the left to send the recording to trash if you stutter – so be ready.

Instagram walkie-talkie featureInstagram

And there you have it. Just keep in mind that the message – whether it be a happy birthday rendition to a friend or a voice message sent to your ex – will forever live on in the app. You can delete the record of it from your phone, but there’s no way to retrieve an already-sent voice message once it’s delivered.

Instagram walkie-talkie featureInstagram

You can also use the feature by simply tapping on the messaging icon, holding it to your ear, and once you hear a beep, recording your message. Once you are done, hit the arrow or send button.

Voice messages can be heard either on the phone’s main speaker or through your phone’s earpiece.

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