While talking on the phone has decreased among younger generations, audio messages have become a more popular form of communication.
- A recent study from BankMyCell found that millennials actively dislike voice calls—75% avoid phone calls and 81% report apprehension anxiety from phone calls.
- Messaging services, dating apps, and work apps have progressively implemented “audio message” or “voice message” features in the past few years that have grown progressively popular.
- 30% of respondents—between 18 and 29 years old—use voice messaging on a daily basis while 43% use it weekly, while WhatsApp says 7 billion voice messages were sent in 2022, Axios reports.
Why It’s Important
These features are not new—WeChat launched it in 2011 and Apple in 2014. However, the proliferation of the feature speaks to the importance and lack of voice communication in the younger generations.
The rise in voice messages likely speaks to ongoing trends in the post-COVID world, with the business world becoming increasingly reliant on remote work and large swaths of the workforce being more spread out across the country than ever before. The long-distance and isolation that these factors have creator appears to be creating demand for greater connection and intimacy in daily interactions.
Voice messages also have numerous features that can benefit busy millennials who do not wish to speak on the phone. Voice messages can be initiated with one hand or while the speaker is walking—making it more efficient than texting in some contexts. Voice messages will also stay on devices until the receiver has listened to them, removing the immediate anxiety of having to answer phone calls.
Several young business people shared their opinions on voice messaging with Axios. Trinity Alicia, 23, notes that voice messages allow speakers to let thoughts flow naturally and say “everything you want to say without being interrupted.” It also allows her to keep in contact with loved ones and friends across the country more closely.
And Jim Broderick, 22, says that iMessage and Snapchat voice messages create a deeper connection between the sender and the recipient. “It makes stories feel more real, and I feel closer to [the sender]. It just lands better when I hear someone’s voice. I feel like I’m more inclined to listen and pay attention.”