Twitter Adds Captions to Voice Tweets

The move comes in response to concerns about accessibility

Twitter has announced the addition of text captions for voice tweets, in response to earlier criticisms about accessibility related to the platform’s audio feature.

Originally launched last June, voice tweets initially were available only to a small number of users on the platform during testing. In a blog post announcing the new audio feature at that time, staff product designer Maya Patterson and senior software engineer Remy Bourgoin wrote, "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."

Twitter Adds Captions to Voice Tweets

Getty Images / miodrag ignjatovic

The audio feature was quickly met with criticism, though, with users asking the company to address accessibility issues for those that were deaf or hard of hearing and therefore unable to take advantage of the feature’s benefits.

After announcing the expansion of voice tweets to more users on Twitter last September, the company announced in a blog post that it had also created two new teams to address accessibility moving forward.

Those teams included a goal-setting group to address accessibility in business functions, in Twitter’s offices and more, and a separate team to address accessibility concerns within new products and features. The company also noted in a tweet at the time that transcription was a planned addition to voice tweets in the future. 

Earlier this year, captions were added to Spaces (Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse).

In a tweet posted yesterday, Twitter Support said the company is working to address accessibility issues brought to light by Twitter users.

The new captions will be automatically generated in all supported languages when a user creates a voice tweet and will disappear on their own. To view captions on a computer, users can click the "CC" button on a voice tweet.

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