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Twitter Introduces Much Awaited “Automated Captions” Feature For Voice Tweets After Criticism On Accessibility


Twitter, the microblogging website on Thursday, made a new update where it turned on the features of automated captions for voice tweets. This means that written captions would be available for all voice tweets.

This feature was introduced by Twitter after it got criticized for not making features that are accessible to all. The voice tweet feature debuted last year but the feature was criticized by many because many people with disabilities couldn’t access it. So Twitter on Thursday introduced automated captions for voice tweets.

Twitter in a tweet expressed that after taking feedback from the users they introduced this feature. It confirmed that when a user records a voice tweet captions will appear automatically below the tweet. To access the captions you would need to click on the “CC” button.

Twitter also tweeted that it is their duty to include features that can be accessed by all humans as it is part of their plan to make the platform wholesome and respectful to all forms of disabilities and deformations. It assured that both new and old features will be changed from time to time to make the platform more user-friendly.

The feature for voice tweeting was tested by Twitter last summer but many users started criticizing it. After reviewing the situation in June, Twitter apologized to its users for testing a new feature without taking suggestions from its users and not thinking about those who were visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. Twitter even expressed that accessibility should never be an afterthought for any organization. 

So in September, the company cleared that it will be working on having transcription available to make the voice tweets more accessible to the users.

Gurpreet Kaur who is head of accessibility at Twitter said that it will be their first try at developing something which will make Twitter more accessible but it is true that the first very wouldn’t be perfect. Taking a step towards this direction is something we should cherish, said Kaur as it will be their first try to expand and experiment on accessibility for the services they provide. Twitter looks forward to making the platform user-inclusive.

This feature will only be available for Apple iOs users. People having an Android would not be able to access the voice tweets feature. But Twitter confirmed that it will bring the feature to Android and the web soon this year.

Talking about the new voice tweet feature you can access it through a wavelength icon. Transcription will be added to your audio as well as your video. Twitter plans on investigating how users use audio. The voice feature provided by Twitter will be able to record up to 140 seconds of audio in one single tweet. 

Another big news about Twitter is that it has announced two new teams whose main goal would be to work on making the feature accessible to its users. One team is named The Accessibility Center for Excellence which will set certain targets and look after the progress made by Twitter, and make the platform more user inclusive. The second team is named Experience Accessibility Team will look after the new and existing features of Twitter and whether they are accessible to all its users or not.

Twitter in 2021 aims to work on voice DMs too.

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