Twitter Launches Voice Tweets for the Human Touch

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO Voice Tweets Gryphon

Twitter has hit the ground with a new feature Wednesday that allows users to tweet out voice tweets or notes in place of traditional text posts.

Everyone on the platform will soon be able to send voice tweets, the company announced Wednesday . Users will have to option to share audio recordings of up to 140 seconds directly to their feed to accompany the text, photos, videos, and GIFs they already can share with their followers.

The new feature is available first on iOS and launching today for “a limited group of people,” according to the company. “Sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough and some conversational nuances are lost in translation. So starting today, we’re testing a new feature that will add a more human touch to the way we use Twitter — your very own voice,” Twitter’s Maya Patterson and Rémy Bourgoin wrote in a blog post.

The new feature is designed to “add a more human touch” to using Twitter, the company said in a blog post.

“There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike,” Twitter staffers wrote in the blog post. “Whether it’s #storytime about your encounter with wild geese in your neighborhood, a journalist sharing breaking news, or a first-hand account from a protest, we hope voice Tweeting gives you the ability to share your perspectives quickly and easily with your voice.”

The Audio can only be added to original tweets, according to this help page, so you can’t include them in replies or retweets with a comment. Another minor thing to note is that whatever your profile picture is when you record an audio clip will always be attached to that audio tweet. “Your current profile photo will be added as a static image on your audio attachment and will not refresh if you update your profile photo,” Twitter says.

Not everybody is celebrating the Voice Tweets though, some users have already raised concerns about how the voice text feature could be misused. Vice’s Jason Koebler has raised issues about how Twitter would moderate audio recordings, given that the platform has been chided for its inability to adequately monitor its text-only posts.

The Verge asked Twitter for more details on how it will make it easier for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to access these audio tweets. In an emailed response, a spokesperson said “this is an early test of audio for us and we’re still exploring the best ways to meet the needs of people with different abilities.”


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