Twitter gets mouthy with new voice tweets feature


Twitter adds voice tweets: Brace yourself for a barrage of voice tweets.
Brace yourself for a barrage of voice tweets.
Photo: Sara Kurfeß/Unsplash CC

As if Twitter wasn’t noisy enough, it soon will let certain users post audio tweets. The new feature, which Twitter is testing exclusively on iOS devices, will let users talk for up to 140 seconds.

Twitter says the voice tweets will “add a more human touch” to the service.

The company announced the new feature in a blog post Wednesday titled “Your Tweet, your voice.” It marks the latest concession to bloat for Twitter, which launched in 2006 with a blessedly simple limit of 140 characters per tweet. The company began excluding user names and media attachments from the tweet count in 2016. And then it doubled the limit to 280 characters in 2017.

Twitter adds 140-second voice tweets

If you’re worried that 140 seconds won’t be long enough to say all the things, you needn’t be. Twitter isn’t about to limit a gasbag to just two minutes and change.

According to today’s press release:

“Each voice Tweet captures up to 140 seconds of audio. Have more to say? Keep talking. Once you reach the time limit for a Tweet, a new voice Tweet starts automatically to create a thread. Once you’re done, tap the Done button to end your recording and go back to the composer screen to Tweet.”

The new audio missives will appear alongside other tweets in Twitter timelines. And Twitter will serve them up for easy consumption:

“To listen, tap the image. On iOS only, playback will start in a new window docked at the bottom of your timeline and you can listen as you scroll. You can also keep listening while doing other things on your phone or on the go.”

Twitter says voice tweets “will be available to a limited group of people on Twitter for iOS to start but in the coming weeks everyone on iOS should be able to Tweet with their voice. Everyone will be able to see (hear) them and reply.”

Maybe it won’t be just loud Twitter rants

While the thought of barrage of longwinded audio tweets sounds positively appalling, Twitter does make a good point about the limits of the printed word.

“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 company 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. We can’t wait to see how people will use this to make their voices heard and add to the public conversation.”

If you get blessed with the capability, here’s how to use it, straight from the source: How to Tweet with your voice.