Twitter is introducing a new voice tweet feature, allowing users to share 140 seconds of audio with each other.
The new feature has already begun rolling out on iOS devices and is available today for “a limited group of people” said Twitter, although everyone using an iPhone should be able to access the feature in the coming weeks.
It is not clear if and when it will be available for users of the Twitter app on Android devices.
“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,” the company said in a blog post introducing the feature.
Those who have access to it can find it by tapping the waveform icon in the app when composing a tweet.
This will take them to a new screen where they can record 140 seconds of audio. If they run over this time then Twitter will automatically create a second chained tweet to post the rest in.
Voice tweets will appear in the timelines of users’ followers just like normal tweets, but they are only available as original tweets, the company has said – so they won’t appear in replies or as comments in a retweet.
Also, users’ profile pictures will automatically be used in the graphic of the audio tweet – and won’t refresh to new pictures even if users update their profile photos.
One of the more interesting areas around the feature concerns moderation.
While a watch-list of words often used for harassment can help its algorithms flag up malicious content when it’s written, speech recognition software is rarely perfect.
The feature could mean Twitter inadvertently allows bad actors to attempt to circumvent some of its own safeguarding procedures.