Skip to main content
21 July 2021

Twitter, the popular social media tool that allows users to post short online messages, has announced that tweets that are based on voice can also be viewed as text. This is thanks to its new automated captioning service on Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

In an announcement by Twitter’s global accessibility head Gurpreet Kaur, it was acknowledged that “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.”

The launch of voice tweets in 2020 was seen as a great step forward for some disability groups such as people who are blind or vision impaired due to the simplicity in recording their voice and posting it online.  However, this approach also provided challenges for other disability groups such as people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. There was also suggestions that the lack of captioning put the new feature in breach of the US 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).  

“While the quality of the automated captions will vary significantly depending on the quality of the audio, the speech and the ability for the software to recognise different languages and accents, it is a great step forward in improving the accessibility of Twitter” said Dr Scott Hollier, CEO of the Centre For Accessibility.

Currently the voice tweet feature is only officially available in the Twitter app on Apple iPhone and iPad with an implementation planned for Android devices in the near future.