A few months ago, Twitter rolled out a somewhat whimsical new feature that allowed users to attach voice messages to Tweets just like they would videos. It was meant to give a more human touch to Tweets for those moments when even emojis just aren’t enough to convey the sender’s feelings. Ironically, it also alienated a large group of Twitter’s users and exposed one flawed aspect of the social media giant that it is now aiming to correct in future iterations of Voice Tweets.
Just like remote work, online communication saw a sharp rise in the past months. Even Twitter’s expanded 280 character limit was no longer enough and its Voice Tweets feature aimed to improve that experience. Initially limited to a very small number on iOS, that feature is now rolling out to more users, still only on iOS.
Reception of the feature was a bit mixed, partly because of its limited availability but mostly because of what it didn’t include. Long story short, there was no way for deaf users to know what was being said in the audio tweet since there were no transcriptions available.
That, in turn, revealed that Twitter was apparently woefully incapable of working on accessibility features because it had no dedicated accessibility personnel at all. That got Twitter moving to quickly form accessibility teams and programs, one of which is to provide transcriptions for both audio and the older video tweets.
When those transcriptions will be coming is still unknown beyond “we’re working on it”. Voice Tweets still remain unavailable on Android, where Pixel owners could probably make use of one of the phone’s live caption features in absence of an official Twitter one. And, no, you still won’t be able to edit tweets anytime soon.