Twitter is deploying the ability to record audio clips and attach them to your tweets. The new feature is first available on iOS and launched today for “a limited group of people,” the company said. “Sometimes 280 characters are not enough and certain conversational nuances are lost during translation. So, starting today, we’re testing a new feature that will add a more human touch to the way we use Twitter – your own voice, “Maya Patterson and Rémy Bourgoin of Twitter wrote in a blog post.
If you have access to it, you will see a new waveform icon next to the camera icon when you compose a tweet. Tap it, and a red record button appears at the bottom of the screen, which you can tap to start recording your message.
“Each voice tweet captures up to 140 seconds of audio. Do you have more to say? Keep talking. Once you reach the time limit for a tweet, a new voice tweet automatically starts to create a discussion thread, “said Twitter.
Audio can only be added to original tweets, according to this help page, so you cannot include them in replies or retweets with a comment. Another little thing to note is that whatever your profile picture 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 be refreshed if you update your profile photo,” says Twitter.
You can listen to audio tweets by pressing the play button. On iOS, Twitter indicates that a dock will appear near the bottom of the app so you can listen to the audio tweets and continue scrolling through your timeline. They will also continue playing in the background if you switch to another application.
Audio tweets could pose new moderation challenges for Twitter, and it’s also important to remember the accessibility factor here. The edge asked Twitter for more details on how it will be easier for deaf and hard of hearing people to access these audio tweets. In an email response, a spokesperson said, “This is our first audio test for us and we are still exploring the best ways to meet the needs of people with different abilities. “
Update from June 17 at 2:25 p.m. ET: The original article has been updated to include a comment regarding the accessibility of Twitter.