June 23, 2020


Erica Perry


If you're tired of typing at this time of social distancing, Twitter has good news. In a new update, you can record your voice and share this audio as a tweet with your followers. An advantage? These can also be heard when you perform several tasks, e.g. B. Checking emails or working on a document – comparable to a micro podcast.

For those who stay on top of things, this is not Twitter's first foray into audio. In 2018, live streams were only started with audio on the native platform and on Periscope. Just last month, the design team shared a model of audio tweet viewing options that they called “Hear and now. ”

Give the conversations a human touch

“Over the years, photos, videos, gifs and additional characters have enabled you to give your conversations your own flair and personality. But sometimes 280 characters are not enough and some conversational nuances are lost in the translation, ”he explained Maya Patterson, Staff Product Designer and Rémy Bourgoin, Senior Software Engineer in the blog announcement. Simply put, sometimes you just want to say what you have to say, rather than trying to get the tone right in a spelled out tweet. There are a lot of things that cannot be said or interpreted through text. Therefore, the aim of the platform with the latest offer is to make conversations more human.

Add 140-second audio clips to tweets

First, make sure you have the latest version of Twitter installed on your iPhone, and then open the app. If you are part of the platform's beta group, a purple wavelength icon will appear next to your camera icon when you start a new tweet. Once you've selected the wavelength icon, you can tap a red microphone icon above a photo of your profile picture to start recording your voice. Each audio tweet can take up to 140 seconds – or two minutes, 20 seconds. If you exceed the time limit, the app creates a new recording that summarizes a thread with voice tweets.

When you're done, click "Done" in the top right corner. Add contextual words, photos, or GIFs for extra flair before sending your tweet to your timeline. To listen to your tweet or someone else's, just tap the image on your timeline. The audio is shown as an embedded video with a start and pause option with your profile picture as an image. If you're using an iPhone, the video will appear in a new window so you can listen to it as you scroll through other tweets. The process as described in the official announcement is not significantly different from text tweeting.

Some precautions: Audio tweets will continue to play in the background if you switch to another app, and you won't be able to insert audio tweets into replies or retweets with a comment – only original tweets.

Moerdation hurdles

In a recently published tweet thread talking to advocates of accessibility, the Twitter software developer Andrew Hayward The company does not have a team dedicated to accessibility. Instead, they rely on employees who volunteer their time beyond their usual tasks. A separate spokesman for the platform, in a statement to The Verge, affirmed that concerns are being heard and that Twitter is committed to expanding its advocacy resources for all products, including a more stringent accessibility review and the establishment of a "more engaged group" to focus on the problem.

“We missed voice tweets and are determined to do better – to make this feature more accessible and all features in the future. We constantly check both the functionality of our products and the internal processes that inform them. We will share the progress in this area. "The company shared. Given the influx of online audio that is controlled by podcasts, this will not be the last time accessibility is paramount for decisions. It is important that they listen to their listeners with empathy so that they can." ensure a fair and meaningful experience for everyone.

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