Twitter introduces “voice tweets” because sometimes 280 characters are not enough

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Twitter may have doubled the length of tweets for user rants and jokes in 2017, but sometimes even 280 characters isn’t enough to get your message across. So now Twitter is making your voice heard – literally – with the addition of voice tweets.The feature, which is currently exclusive to iOS, allows you to have a voice memo on your tweets, just like voice clips in WhatsApp or other messaging services. To use the feature, simply press the Tweet composition button, then press the new sound wave button that appears at the bottom left. You can simply press the “Done” button when you are finished plugging in.

But of course, it wouldn’t be Twitter without an arbitrary number limitation (if welcome), so individual voice clips are limited to 140 seconds. That said, if you exceed the limit, Twitter will automatically start a new voice tweet and create a new thread.

Voice tweets are displayed in your timeline with a large map much like a video tweet, except, you know, there is no video. Audio playback is not automatic; you need to tap on the image to start.

Twitter says it hopes voice tweets will give users a human touch, noting that sometimes things can be left “unspoken or uninterpreted” with written tweets.

This is a welcome gesture, allowing users to express themselves in more nuances than what is available in a short text. Hopefully this could lead to more constructive conversations on the platform, but I also imagine it won’t be very long before people get into literal screaming matches on Twitter. You gain a little, you lose a little.

Although audio tweets are available to users on all platforms, only a small group of iOS users can create them at this time. Twitter says it should be available to all iOS users “in the coming weeks,” but it’s not known when it will arrive on other devices.

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