Hey, remember back in June when Twitter made a big announcement about a new option to add audio clips into your tweets?
There seemed to be a heap of initial hype around the functionality, with celebrities posting audio clips, social media gurus devising new tweet strategies – it was a magical time.
For about five hours. After that, the chatter around audio clips in tweets seemed to die down very fast.
Why? Well, for one, audio clips seemingly don’t add any major functional benefit, especially when you consider that more than 90% of people absolutely hate hearing their own voice played back (this is an entirely made up stat).
But another reason is that the announcement was criticized by many for being inconsiderate to users who are unable to hear, essentially cutting them out of the conversation. Twitter then confessed that it didn’t have a team focused on accessibility, which it has since rectified by adding not one but two teams focused on improving its systems to ensure users of all capabilities are able to engage with tweets.
Which is a good thing, but for audio tweets, the damage was already done, and the hype around the new option quickly turned sour. And we haven’t heard much about it since.
Transcription for audio and video is part of our larger plan to make Twitter accessible for everyone across all features, both existing and new.https://t.co/c9LTPiE003 (2/2)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 29, 2020
Yes, now audio tweets are available to more iOS users (still no Android for now), while Twitter has also re-affirmed its commitment to adding auto-captions for voice tweets as soon as possible.
So, good news, right? Now more people have access to audio tweets, and soon, even more people will be able to enjoy the experience of seeing what people share via sound clips attached to their tweets, expanding context and understanding across the app.
There is, of course, a range of potential opportunities with audio clips in tweets, and in many ways, it’s a shame that Twitter’s lack of foresight with respect to accessibility has somewhat dampened enthusiasm for the option.
But even so, from a business and social marketing perspective, it may be worth considering how audio tweets might fit into your Twitter approach, and add something new and unique to your outreach.
And ideally, over time, the launch of captions for audio tweets will make it a more accessible, valuable option to consider.
Twitter is also testing audio messages in DMs among users in Brazil.