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Monday, February 19, 2024

Discord has finally added voice messages

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In an official post on April 14, Discord revealed that all users of the mobile app can now send voice recordings up to 20 minutes long in DMs and on servers. While the messages can be listened to on desktop, the ability to record and send is limited to the mobile app.

It works pretty much like the voice message functions in Signal, WhatsApp, or any other mobile instant messenger: there’s a new microphone icon to the right of the text field⁠—just hold it down and you’re off to the races. My thoughts were consumed with how this could be applied to good natured jokes and japes, but the blog post also helpfully outlined how you can prevent abuse of this feature.

You can report voice messages just like normal ones, and there are also options to disable them across a whole server or limit their use by role. I pretty much just use Discord to keep up with old friends or check out the neo-forums of cool indie games (even though we wish they’d stop doing that), but a lot of people seem to like turning their Discord servers into weird, cult of personality digital fiefdoms where they sometimes leak government secrets. It makes sense that the company has to account for bad behavior when they roll out a fresh feature.

I decided to test it out myself by reading the text from a screencapped Facebook post I really like (embedded below the article) that I’d previously shared in a group chat with two former coworkers who are now dear friends. Strangely, they didn’t respond to the image in question when I first sent it, and I hoped my vocal performance would get more love. “Decided to change it up a little for the holiday,” I intoned. “Hot dog mac ‘n cheese sushi.”

“And before you snobs start asking,” I clarified, “Yes! The hot dogs are raw.” It is sushi after all. My voice message similarly received no heat, not one react or “haha” in response. It goes to show that no matter how many features Discord rolls out, they can’t fix fake friends.

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