Don’t send a ‘podcast’: WhatsApp reveals the keys to sending better audio

That a function is very efficient does not mean that its use is also efficient. WhatsApp knows a lot about this, seeing how its groups were depredated by unscrupulous and disrespectful users, to the point that they had to adopt measures in the form of new functions. Well, this “rescue group” has also come to put a little order regarding the use of audio.

There’s nothing more daunting than finding yourself in line at the grocery store and receiving a voice memo, with advance notice that it’s longer than two minutes. They are authentic speeches with all their drama, unexpected turns and deep sighs, everything, to end up confirming the time and place of an already prearranged appointment. With nearly 7,000 million audios sent every day through the platform, the abuse of this function was, after the groups, the second black beast in which order had to be put in order, and WhatsApp has done it.

A guide to uses and good forms

In the case of the audios —those that are generated after pressing the microphone located at the bottom—, the company could not adopt drastic measures as in the case of groups, so it has opted for the left hand and the protocol. Through a guide distributed in a press release, the company has chosen to establish a series of tips for using the hand, precisely from an expert in protocol.

Meta has contacted Jo Bryant, an expert in professional etiquette, to give solvency to common sense through some advice with which it is intended, we do not know how successfully, to curb those who abuse this function. What are the elementary etiquette rules in WhatsApp audios?

Don’t give speeches

Do not send podcast-length audio is Bryant’s first and foremost recommendation. Although there is no written rule about what to do and what not to do in an open function for the user, in some contexts (in a work meeting, in a noisy bar or in the supermarket queue), it is not easy to manage three-minute messages. This expert quantifies the limit duration of the audios, placing them at “one or two minutes”; Once this Rubicon has been overcome, the message becomes an uncomfortable speech for the receiver. The key to knowing if the message should be audio, according to Bryant, is the length of what you want to convey: “If it’s too long to write, but too short for a call, you’ve found the sweet spot for audio messages. voice”. In any case,

For the receiver: be careful with the playback volume

A WhatsApp audio is still a private communication (in fact, they are encrypted from end to end like the rest of the messages). Knowing this, it does not seem like a good idea to play them at full volume when we are surrounded by strangers, since there may be private or sensitive content that the sender assumes as private. The protocol expert recommends reducing the volume to a minimum when the message is to be played or, better yet, using headphones when using crowded places such as trains or subways.

Go to the point and with specific questions

Communication barriers do not avoid audio messages either. Who hasn’t gotten one of these two- or three-minute messages on multiple topics with multiple issues? If this happens, the recipient is forced to answer the different questions, trying to remember them all, or worse yet, to play the message several times. From WhatsApp it is recommended to reduce the number of questions asked in the same audio.

If an audio is received, it is better to answer with another audio

It is possibly the most protocol recommendation of Bryant and with which not everyone will agree. This expert suggests that an audio message should be answered with another recording to prevent the communication from becoming “a one-sided monologue.” It is a more difficult piece of advice to comply with because the circumstances of the sender and the receiver do not have to be the same (one can be at home and the other at the cinema). Bryant seems to want to avoid terse “ok” or “ok” in response to elaborate audio and the emotional conflicts that may arise.

Be efficient and take advantage of the hands-free function

It is not necessary to stop everything you are doing to send a voice note: with the hands-free function (using the mobile’s loudspeaker), you can record a message and send it later. In fact, the platform has long allowed recording, reviewing and then sending the audio to avoid failed recordings. In the worst case scenario, a wrong shipment can always be deleted, possibly without the recipient ever hearing it.

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