Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Twitter users in India, take note. Starting February 17, Twitter will be rolling out its latest feature of voice messages in direct messages (DMs) in India.

However, if you find that you are unable to access this feature, do not panic. Twitter also revealed that this feature will be released in phases, which means that many of you might not be able to access it yet. Currently, select audiences using Twitter on iOS and Android in India, Brazil, and Japan will have access to this feature.

Manish Maheswari, managing director of Twitter India, said, “India is a priority market for Twitter and that is why we’re constantly testing new features and learning from people’s experience on the service here. We’re excited to bring the voice messages in DMs experiment to the country and give people a new way to express themselves and help them connect through the nuances, emotion, and empathy built by hearing someone’s voice.”

Twitter said that each voice message could be up to 140 seconds long and will enable people to chat faster. According to Twitter, this will create a more human experience for both listeners and speakers. The user’s current profile photo will be added to the voice note as a static image when the note plays in DMs.

If you want to send a voice message, open an existing conversation or start a new one. Then, you can record the message by tapping on the voice recording icon and continue to record for 140 seconds before sending it. Moreover, you can hear your voice messages before you send it. For iOS users, pressing and holding the icon will do the trick, and they will be able to send the message immediately when they swipe up and release the icon. This is different from sending voice recordings on WhatsApp, where one cannot hear the message before sending it.

Alex Ackerman-Greenberg, product manager for direct messages at Twitter, said, “We are dedicated to giving people more options to express themselves in conversations on Twitter — both publicly and privately. We hope letting people record and send voice messages as DMs will enhance their conversational experience by adding convenience and expression.”

Twitter has been under fire lately after it came to odds with the Narendra Modi administration for refusing to comply with an order to block over a thousand accounts linked with the farmers’ protests that have rocked the country. Although they did block some 1,178 accounts at the government’s behest, the company maintained its stand that such an order was a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

India being a testing ground for a new feature like that may help Twitter captivate more users in the country, especially with its position being jeopardized at the moment.