Twitter Expands Rollout of Voice Tweets Feature for iOS Users

Twitter says it's making its voice tweets feature available to more users on iOS. Launched in June for a limited number of users, voice tweets is designed to allow people to tweet with their voice, sending voice-based messages instead of text.

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Voice tweets can be created by opening up the tweet composer and tapping the new wavelengths icon. A screen then opens with a user's Twitter icon, which can be tapped to begin a recording.

Twitter users can capture up to 140 seconds of audio, but continuous recording is possible and longer audio will create multiple voice tweets.

Listening to a voice tweet can be done by tapping on the image in the Twitter timeline. On iOS, playback starts in an audio player that's docked at the bottom of the timeline so users can continue to scroll through Twitter.


Since their arrival on iOS, voice tweets have been criticized for lacking accessibility in the form of audio transcriptions. That criticism led Twitter employees to reveal they'd been asked to volunteer their time on top of their usual work to focus on accessibility.

The ensuing flak led Twitter to tell The Verge that it was exploring how to build a "more dedicated group" to focus on accessibility, and the company has since announced new two teams in that vein. Twitter subsequently said it plans to add automated captions to audio and video on the platform by "early 2021."

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Top Rated Comments

shapesinaframe Avatar
49 months ago
A multi billion dollar company wants employees to volunteer their time?

I guess you don’t become a multi billion dollar company by doing stupid things like paying people.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrumApple Avatar
49 months ago
People will abuse the S out of this. Sex noise, racist tirades, vulgarities... how do they intend to moderate it? They can't even moderate text well.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Le Big Mac Avatar
49 months ago
Why do I want this? To the extent Twitter is great, it's the ability to scroll quickly through lots of short snippets and see what might be worth clicking through. I can't do that with audio, where I have to pause and listen to someone. No quick glance, no skimming.

And FWIW, that sample image looks like total clickbait. All it needs is a photo of an attractive woman with some skimpy article of clothing to make it complete.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
49 months ago
The Heck. Why not do that during working hours? It’s for work no?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
49 months ago

Are they purposefully trying to instigate people to create radio ad-type content? ... So, to get back to the subject, leave the radio-type rambling for audio podcasts.
As well, if there’s content that they, as a private company, want to censor (hate speech or Russian bot farms or some such), they’ve just built themselves a system where it’s much harder to detect that - algorithms can scan millions of words of text messages a second. They won’t do nearly as well trying to do that with audio.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
davidjschloss Avatar
49 months ago

The Heck. Why not do that during working hours? It’s for work no?
If you read the thread linked in the article, it says that it is during normal working hours, however it's not budgeted into their time. In other words, They've got 8 hour days, and not exactly 8 hours of work, so they do this work during those work hours.

But to be clear, there's no formal accessibility team at Twitter—that's one of the things these people are volunteering. And there's no compensation to the team for adding this work to their original work.

They are not, however, being asked to volunteer, or being asked to stay "after work" to do this. They're just cramming it into their normal 8 hours with the sort of nod nod wink wink of their supervisors.

The bigger story here is that Twitter has no accessibility team.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)