Twitter brings captions for voice tweets to iOS after accessibility concerns

Tech News

Microblogging platform Twitter is rolling out captions for voice tweets. The social media giant had introduced voice tweets in June 2020, which faced criticism for absence of captions leading to accessibility issues.

Following the feedback from accessibility advocates, Twitter has now added captions to its voice tweets. The feature has currently been introduced for iOS users only, as voice tweets has not reached Android yet. These captions will be generated automatically in one of eleven supported languages, including English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, French, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian.

To see captions for a voice tweets, users need to tap on the CC icon in the top-right corner of the tweet window. Captions will be generated only for new tweets, which means older tweets will not benefit from the feature.

At the time of voice tweets launch, it was revealed that Twitter did not have a dedicated team for accessibility at the time. Back then, employees had to volunteer their own time for accessibility work. The company has since fixed this lacunae, with teams dedicated to accessibility issues formed in the company during September last year.

“As part of our ongoing work to make Twitter accessible for everyone, we’re rolling out automated captions for Voice Tweets to iOS,” Twitter’s head of global accessibility Gurpreet Kaur said in a statement.

“Though it’s still early and we know it won’t be perfect at first, it’s one of many steps we’re taking to expand and strengthen accessibility across our service, and we look forward to continuing our journey to create a truly inclusive service,” he added.

Twitter also offers captions in Twitter Spaces, its social audio rooms similar to Clubhouse.

Earlier this week, Twitter announced that it will shut down its year-old feature, Fleets. These are similar to Stories on Facebook and Instagram that appear on top of Twitter apps for Android and iOS and last 24 hours. Within a year of its launch, Twitter said it feels Fleets has no future and has announced that the feature on August 3, 2021.

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