After the feature was first spotted in testing last August, Twitter has now officially launched a full live test of voice clips within direct messages to users in India, Brazil and Japan.
As you can see here, the process enables users to record an audio clip which can then be sent as a message. It’s essentially an extension of the audio recording option Twitter added to regular tweets last June, which launched to some hype, with celebrities and high-profile users sending out voice clips. Since then, however, it appears to have died out to a degree, with fewer audio clips being submitted over time.
But audio clips in DMs could serve a different purpose, and become a more valuable option. A key benefit of adding voice recordings is that it opens Twitter up to more people of varying capacity, and in this respect, audio tweets have definitely added more ways for vision-impaired users to engage with Tweet content.
Twitter has been working to improve the accessibility of the platform, which has seen it announce a range of new initiatives over the past year. Audio DMs could be seen as another element in this push – while they could also help to reduce language barriers in multi-lingual regions, as it can sometimes be easier to speak a language than it is to write it.
Or it could just add another fun element to your DMs. Audio content is having a moment, with the rise of audio social network Clubhouse sparking various clone functionalities among the big platforms. Audio DMs might also be a means to tap into this trend – though as noted, there are practical, valuable uses for the same.
There could also be brand usage considerations, with ways to record fun or informational audio clips that can be used to reply to common customer queries.
In terms of technical limitations, voice recordings in DMs can be up to 140-seconds long, the same as voice tweets, while the functionality is currently only available on iOS. Twitter says that voice tweets will be coming to Android and the web later this year.
No word as yet on a broader roll-out of audio DMs to more regions.