Twitter has been encouraging its users to find their voices since debuting in 2006, and it is now enabling them to share their voices—their actual voices, not via written word.
The social network began testing a new feature with a limited group of iOS users, voice tweets, with plans to roll it out to all iOS users in the coming weeks.
Senior software engineer Rémy Bourgoin and staff product designer Maya Patterson said in a blog post Wednesday, “Over the years, photos, videos, GIFs and extra characters have allowed you to add your own flair and personality to your conversations. But sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough, and some conversational nuances are lost in translation. So, starting today, we’re testing a new feature that will add a more human touch to the way we use Twitter—your very own voice.”
People with access to the feature can open the tweet composer on their iOS device, tap the new icon depicting wavelengths and tap the record button to begin recording.
Voice tweets can be up to 140 seconds in length, and if the time limit is exceeded, a new voice tweet automatically begins, creating a thread.
Tapping the done button will bring users back to the composer screen, where they can share their voice tweets. They will appear in Twitter’s timeline alongside other tweets. Tapping the image will enable people to play the audio.
Playback starts in a new window, so users can listen to voice tweets while continuing to scroll through their timelines.
Voice tweets will be available for consumption by everyone on Twitter, whether or not they have access to the creation process.
Bourgoin and Patterson wrote, “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. Whether it’s #storytime about your encounter with wild geese in your neighborhood, a journalist sharing breaking news or a firsthand 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.”