Twitter released a voice-tweet feature around a year ago, which does exactly what it says it does: it’s an audio-format tweet. However, since then they’ve been sorely lacking accessibility features, making them rather pointless for anyone hearing-impaired. Now, finally, voice tweets are getting closed captions.
About time, Twitter
We’re rolling out voice Tweets to more of you on iOS so we can keep learning about how people use audio.
Since introducing the feature in June, we've taken your feedback seriously and are working to have transcription available to make voice Tweets more accessible. (1/2)
— Support (@Support) September 29, 2020
It’s quite simple. Here’s how it works. As you record your voice tweet, captions will automatically be generated and added to the tweet. When one of your followers listens to the tweet and has closed captions on it, they’ll see the transcription pop up as they listen. The captions look a lot like YouTube’s own automatically generated closed captions.
It’s an important step in the right direction for accessibility, and the platform says it’s part of its, “larger plan to make Twitter accessible for everyone across all features, both existing and new.”
Closed captions is one of the most important tools for platforms to make their content more accessible, and accessibility is currently a major focus point for the internet (and even irl world) at large. TikTok recently added in a closed captions feature, and Xbox did the same for its party chat feature. It’s an incredibly useful, and even entirely necessary feature to enable people with hearing impairments to enjoy the platform and its content fully.
Twitter received pretty substantial backlash for the lack of CCs all the way back when voice tweets launched, and the lengthy delay in adding it in hasn’t helped. Still, it’s here now, finally, and it’s a great move forward for making microblogging more accessible.