Twitter releases new audio feature for short voice recordings

It's the latest iteration for the platform, which started with 140 characters messages and evolved to include photos, videos, gifs and expanded text limits.
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Employees walk past a lighted Twitter log as they leave the company's headquarters in San Francisco on Aug. 13, 2019.Glenn Chapman / AFP via Getty Images file

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By Ahiza García-Hodges

There's a new way to tweet and it involves recording your voice.

Twitter unveiled on Wednesday a feature that lets people record and tweet up to 140 seconds of audio.

The new medium is the latest iteration for the platform, which started with 140 characters of a typed message and eventually evolved to include photos, videos, gifs and expanded text limits.

Some Twitter users were quick to take advantage of the new feature.

Twitter employees Maya Patterson and Rémy Bourgoin wrote in a post announcing the feature that they hoped it would open the platform to new types of expression.

"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," Patterson and Brougoin wrote.

The process of creating a voice tweet is similar to a text one. To start, users press a newly added wavelength icon and start speaking. If what needs to be said requires more than 140 seconds, a new voice tweet will automatically start, creating a thread.

In Apple's iOS mobile operating system, the tweet can be listened to while continuing to scroll through a feed. The feature will be limited to certain iOS users at first but will roll out to everyone in the coming weeks.

Users who don't currently have the ability to record can still listen to posted audio tweets and reply to them.

Users will not be able to respond to audio tweets with their own audio tweets, according to Twitter's help center.

The tweets do not appear to autoplay in the Twitter feed, instead requiring a user to click play on the tweet to hear the audio.

Twitter, which has struggled with moderating harmful text-based messages, didn’t announce any plans for how it will monitor or remove offensive audio tweets.