The New Voice Tweet Feature Hints The Future Of Twitter

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Twitter, the popular microblogging platform, after it has recently launched a new feature known as Fleets, is all set to roll out another exciting new feature that will be rolling out today. What is it? Let’s find out.

Twitter is all set to roll out a feature that will give you the ability to record audio snippets and then attach them to tweets. This particular new feature will be made available on iOS first and it is being launched today for a limited group of beta testers only.

Maya Patterson and Rémy Bourgoin from Twitter, in a blog post, has written how they feel that a mere 280 characters sometimes isn’t just enough to express oneself. Also, by limiting thought or an idea by a set number of characters one can lose the conversational nuances in translation. Thus, they have decided to test out this new feature of including audio snippets in order to add a ‘more human touch’ to the way we have been accustomed to using the Twitter platform.

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Now, if you are someone who has been struck by lady luck and got a chance to access this feature then you will be able to see a new waveform icon beside the camera icon when you are composing a tweet.

When you tap this particular waveform icon a red record button will appear at the bottom of the screen which is to basically indicate the user that they can tap that to start recording the voice or audio message.

According to Twitter, this feature enables every voice tweet to capture up to 140 seconds of audio. Now, in case you have more to add, you can simply keep recording even after you have reached the time limit for the voice tweet. The feature will record your exceeded time limit audio as a new voice tweet and then create a thread.

Source: Verge

Twitter’s help section for this new feature clarifies a few more guidelines about using this feature such as – audio can only be added to original tweets. As of right now, users who will be given access to this feature won’t be able to include them in replies or retweets with a comment. 

Apart from this, another minor detail that needs to be noted is the fact that to whatever your profile picture happens to be when you are recording an audio clip, it will always be attached to that particular audio tweet. Twitter’s guidelines from the help page clearly mention that a user’s current profile photo will be added as a static image on the audio attachment and will not refresh even if you update your profile photo later on.

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These audio tweets can be listened to by simply hitting the play button. Twitter has mentioned that a dock will be appearing for iOS device users near the bottom of the app so that users can simultaneously listen to audio tweets and continue scrolling through the timeline. Also, if you are in a public place, you should keep in mind that the audio tweets will keep playing in the background even if you switch to another app. Thus, always make sure you pause or stop the audio tweets and then switch to another app if you do not wish to keep listening to them.

New Audio Tweet Feature: Future With Challenges

The increasing voice computing nowadays has made Twitter look beyond the standard Text-based platform. Twitter, which has over 166 Monetiseable Daily Active Users, is trying to capitalise on the increasing popularity of voice-based computing. Over the last few quarters, the usage of voice based messages on popular messaging platforms have increased significantly. Internet and Social media users are actively using voice-based platforms for blogging as well. The increasing number of Audio Books and Podcast users is a testimony to the fact that voice-based computing is going mainstream.

However, every new feature comes with its own set of challenges, for users and platforms both.

It should be kept in mind that audio tweets, if and when rolled out in its entirety, can pose a new challenge for Twitter when it comes to moderation.

Also, apart from this, this particular feature also possesses a challenge in terms of accessibility for people who are living with disabilities of being deaf or hard of hearing.

When the company was reached out for a comment on the same, a Twitter spokesperson replied saying that this feature is in its nascent stage. However, in saying so, they (Twitter) are committed to exploring the best ways to meet the various needs of people who have different abilities. 

Now, it remains to be seen how will the Twitterverse will be reacting to this brand new voice tweet feature, and when the same will be rolled out for Android users as well. Is this the dawn of the Twitter 2.0? We will keep you posted on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

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