Twitter will add voice tweet transcriptions following criticism over accessibility

It's expanding voice tweets on iOS, but they won't come to Android until 2021.

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JUNE 28: In this photo illustration, recording voice tweet feature of Twitter is displayed on a smart phone screen in front of a laptop screen displaying logo of Twitter in Ankara, Turkey on June 28, 2020. (Photo by Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

When Twitter introduced voice tweets earlier this summer as a way to send more personalized messages, it caught a lot of flack for not including accessibility features. Now, the company said it will add transcriptions for voice tweets as part of an initiative to promote accessibility within its products. It’s also expanding the voice tweet feature, which is still only available on iOS, effective immediately.

After voice tweets arrived in a testing phase, critics pointed out that it should have had captions from the get-go as required by Federal law. Twitter then surprisingly admitted that it didn’t have a dedicated accessibility team, but instead relied on employees to donate additional time to work on those features. Since then, the company has launched two separate teams dedicated to accessibility, including one for its products.

In a post on September 2nd, Twitter said that it would add automated captions to audio and video by “early 2021.” However, it hasn’t specified yet when transcripts will appear for voice tweets. While the feature has now expanded to more iOS users, it’s still in limited testing and Twitter has said that it won’t come to Android or the web until next year.

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