Twitter burst open the gate to character limits on tweets in June 2020. No, you still can’t post essays – text ones, anyway. But, you can record an audio message and attach it to your tweet.
There are some caveats, naturally. Here’s what you need to know about Twitter Voice Tweets and how they work.
What are voice tweets?
Voice tweets, or tweets with audio, are a composing feature available on the Twitter iOS app.
They’re basically a more creative way to express your thoughts, without having to manually type it all out or be constrained by a character limit. “Sometimes 280 characters aren’t enough and some conversational nuances are lost in translation,” Twitter said at the time of the voice tweets launch.
The idea of voice tweets was to offer a “more human touch” to how we use Twitter by making it possible to express yourself with your actual voice. Voice tweets could also be considered an accessibility feature for the blind or others who find it difficult to either see or type tweets the standard way, though they aren’t currently available to all users.
Twitter is looking at transcriptions for voice tweets however.
How do voice tweets work and how do you use them?
Here’s how Twitter’s Voice Tweets work and how to get yourself started so you can send a tweet with a recording of your voice to your followers.
Create a voice tweet
If you want to create a voice tweet, you need to look for the waveform icon when composing a new tweet. Tap it and then hit the record button that shows up to start recording your voice tweet. Each voice tweet captures up to 140 seconds of audio. Once you reach the time limit for a tweet, a new voice tweet will automatically start and create a tweet thread for you to post.
You can attach voice tweets to regular tweets, which basically means you can give your audio message a text caption. But voice tweets can only be added to original tweets, you can’t include them in replies or retweets with a comment.
Listen to a voice tweet
You will be able to easily spot a voice tweet in your feed. It shows up as an audio clip with the sharer’s profile picture as the background. “Your current profile photo will be added as a static image on your audio attachment and will not refresh if you update your profile photo,” Twitter said when the feature launched.
You can listen to voice tweets by tapping the play button. On your iOS device, a player dock will appear so you can listen to voice tweets in the background and continue scrolling through your feed or switch to another app. You can see an example of a voice tweet here:
New toy :)pic.twitter.com/CTlNGC7KEv
— Liz Phair (@PhizLair) June 17, 2020
When will voice tweets be available to all?
Twitter launched voice tweets on 17 June 2020 for “a limited group of people” who use the Twitter app on iPhone. The feature extended to more iOS users following this date, but it is still not available for Android users.