Twitter adds audio tweets, but can’t solve accessibility issues

Anne Freier | June 23, 2020

App Business

Twitter is currently trialling a feature that lets users share audio tweets which are up to 140 seconds long.

The functionality is currently only available to select iPhone users and allows them to record their voices through the phone.

It hopes to launch voice tweets over the coming weeks.

Using your mobile phone, audio tweets can be recorded by tapping the purple wavelength icon next to the camera icon. Users then simply tap the red microphone icon and record their message. When they’re done they can finish (by clicking on Done).

If they speak for longer than 140 seconds, Twitter automatically creates a new audio recording.

They can also add text, images and a location to their audio tweets.

However, the addition has already attracted criticism for potentially shutting out people with different abilities (e.g. deaf journalists).

Right now, the function does not include captions and Twitter admitted that its staff dedicated to solving accessibility issues for the company was rather limited.

“We’re looking at how we can build out a more dedicated group to focus on accessibility tooling and advocacy across all products. We missed around voice Tweets, and we are committed to doing better – making this feature more accessible and also all features in the future. We’re constantly reviewing both the functionality of our products and the internal processes that inform them; we’ll share progress in this area,” the company wrote in a statement.

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