Big tech product updates are not always worth a blog post. But Twitter’s Audio Tweets feature release on iOS has certainly caught my attention. The addition of Audio Tweets might be the biggest Twitter feature launch since the increased character limit from 140 to 280 characters.
Twitter has released a new feature that allows users to “tweet” an audio file with a voice recording to support their tweet.
Essentially, this rolls out mini quite podcasts to the social media network. However, these audio flies are nice and short – with a maximum of 140 seconds in length. But don‘t worry, if you‘ve got more to say, just say it. The audio recording will continue to run, even after the 02:20 minutes are done. When the recording is too long for a single Tweet, it will start a thread (with up to 25 Tweets). This essentially means that you can record nearly up to an hour of Audio Tweets in one Thread.
Will this unleash a new form of creativity?
The concept behind the audio tweets is that adding voice “snippets” will make the platform more personal and natural. Not everyone will want to go on camera to share their thoughts and (bad) hairdos. Thus, audio tweets might actually be a great idea.
Intonation and emotions are far better transmitted using your voice, than in a mere 280 characters.
An audio Tweet is not a full on podcast, but rather a quick message. This particular content type is limited to 140 seconds in length. It is supposed to bring more personality to the micro-blogging platform and spark a new wave of creativity.
Challenges with audio Tweets
I personally think that 140 seconds are plenty long to give someone a first impression of an event and to get a point across. Yet, the time limit also poses some challenges.
Transcription/captions are not available from the get go. This means, you will not be able to read the audio message, during the recording. This might make unsuited for people who scroll through their Twitterfeeds on their daily commute, but don’t wear headphones.
Furthermore, it will certainly be a challenge for Jack Dorsey‘s team to keep the messages clean and civil. I do not know how well developed the algorithms behind checking audio Tweets are, but I could imagine it is harder to filter (hate, or other offensive) messages from audio files, than it is from written text.
I hope this feature will not be taken advantage of too much, as I feel it could be a great feature addition for journalists and influencer alike.
Who can use Audio Tweets?
Everyone with an iOS device can technically start to create Audio Tweets as soon as the feature has been rolled out. Here are some ideas on how Audio Tweets could be used:
- Journalists: Live commentary of events are a great way to get a quick message out. A podcast can be an overkill sometimes and all it takes are a few clear sentences to get a message across. A great tool for journalists.
- Marketeers: Of course Marketeers will use Twitter Audio for self promotion purposes and much more. Not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, and audio might be the perfect tool for professionals who are somewhat camera shy. If Twitter manages to transcribe the actual audio and make it searchable, that will make a big difference to the type of content that will be produced. It might even become SEO-relevant at some point?
- Quick introductory Tweets to a topic: Text and imagery are here to stay, but it can take painstakingly long to create high quality written content. A quick introduction to a topic using your voice will certainly go a lot quicker. Besides, it will add a level of personality to your posts that simply wasn‘t there before.
- Explaining highlights in a blogpost: For all of our Blinkist fans who cannot be bothered to read (or listen) to a full book – a quick summary can work wonders. Blogpost highlights using your voice in a quick audio Tweet sounds like a plan and fun to me.
- Live commentary of (sports or music) events: Live „Radio-Style“ commentary at a match with quick highlights of the latest goals or scores, sounds like fun right? This is exactly what Twitter Audio Tweets will allow us to do.
I am still waiting
Unfortunately, I am still waiting to receive the Twitter update on my iOS device. It‘s been a whole two weeks already and I have to say I am getting a little anxious. There have been less exciting product updates than this one from Twitter – and it is actually one that I could imagine using frequently.
Did you receive the update already? Follow me on Twitter and let me know what your experiences have been so far.
Remco = Link to Twitter Profile