KEY POINTS

  • Twitter is testing a new feature called voice tweets
  • These tweets are made using voice recordings
  • The feature is being tested on a number of iOS users

Twitter was originally designed to let users tweet short messages. The original 140-character limit was expanded to accommodate longer messages made using a maximum of 280 characters. Now, the social microblogging site is testing a new kind of tweet – made using a person's voice.

In a blog post, Twitter's Maya Patterson and Rémy Bourgoin announced that the social media app is now testing tweets made using a user's voice. The feature is currently unofficially called “Voice Tweets” and it is currently being tested on a small number of iOS users, with the aim to expand the feature to all iOS users “in the coming weeks.”

“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,” the Twitter staff product designer and senior software engineer said.

“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,” they added.

How it works

Voice tweets work pretty much the same way a regular tweet works, with the clear exception being that it's a voice recording. They will still be shown on the regular timeline along with other tweets, so that others can see (or listen to) them. 

Here's how voice tweets work:

  • Twitter users who want to create a voice tweet can simply open up the tweet composer, just like they do when creating a regular tweet. Instead of typing anything, however, users should tap on the new wavelengths icon in the composer screen.
  • Tapping on the wavelengths icon brings up the new voice recorder, which has the user's profile image and a record button at the bottom. Tapping on the record button starts a recording. Users can record up to 140 seconds of audio per voice tweet, but can record longer audio which will be divided into multiple tweets, posted as a thread.
  • Users who want to stop recording their voice should tap on Done to end the session, then return to the composer screen. Users will then need to tap on Tweet to post the new voice tweet.

As mentioned, voice tweets will appear on the regular timeline. Those who want to listen to a voice tweet should tap on the image to play the recording. iOS users will see the recording controls in a new window docked at the bottom of the timeline, so they can continue scrolling or doing other things while listening.

This is but one of the new features Twitter is testing, alongside Scheduled Tweets for desktop users and a feature that urges users to read articles before sharing them.

Twitter is introducing voice tweets, or spoken audio messages which may be shared by users in addition to text, images and video Twitter is introducing voice tweets, or spoken audio messages which may be shared by users in addition to text, images and video Photo: AFP / DENIS CHARLET