In a blog post on Wednesday, Twitter announced a new feature – voice tweets, which are now only available for limited iOS users in the US.
“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,” reads the company’s blog post.
For now, the feature is only at the testing phase, but in the coming weeks, all iOS users will be able to post 140-second audio tweets together with 280-character texts. Twitter hasn’t mentioned when the feature will be rolling out for Android users. Note that earlier, Twitter had a limit of 140 characters per tweet, which was later increased to 280 characters.
These audio snippets can only be added to original tweets, meaning that users cannot include them in replies or retweets when commenting.
In the blog post announcing the new feature, Twitter also said, “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.”
If you are a part of that “limited group of people” who have an opportunity to test voice tweets, you will see a waveform icon near the camera icon when creating a new tweet. To record and attach a voice recording, tap the icon. A record button will appear down below on the screen, which will enable recording a voice message. One the time limit is reached, a new voice tweet will be created and added to a thread.
To listen to audio tweets, hit the play button. A separate bar will appear at the bottom of the app, so you can listen to tweets while also doing other things like scrolling the timeline. Besides, if you switch to another app, audio recordings will keep playing in the background.
The announcement of the new feature doesn’t mean that Twitter is intended to become a podcast platform, although many other social media platforms are actively using this format. Giving users an opportunity to record audio tweets simply is aimed at exploring a new way of communications compatible with the existing conversation flows.