Twitter has begun testing a voice notes feature that allows users to record audio snippets rather than type out posts.
The new feature first launched on Wednesday (June 17) to a “limited group of people" on iOS, the company said in a blog post. It will roll out to all iOS users in the coming weeks.
The voice note feature appears as a wavelengths icon within the Tweet composer. Tapping the icon allows users to record their voice for up to 140 seconds. Should they wish to speak for longer, a new voice Tweet will start automatically to create a thread.
Voice Tweets appear within the Twitter timeline alongside other Tweets. Once users click to play the audio, it opens a new window docked at the bottom of their timeline so users can continue to scroll through the app. The audio also continues to play when users click out of the app—a feature that has surprised and irked some users.
In the blog post announcing the feature, staff product designer Maya Patterson and senior software engineer Rémy Bourgoin said: “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."
"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 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," the blog post read.