It was back in 2020, when Twitter first launched voice tweets. It was quickly criticized due to accessibility issues for not having captions.
A year later, in 2021, Twitter finally brings that feature for voice tweets. As announced, users can finally make voice tweets to be captioned automatically.
Supported language at this time include English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, French, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian.
To see the automatically-generated captions, users can click or tap on the 'CC" icon located at the top-right corner of the voice tweet window.
It should be noted though, that captions only appear on voice tweets created after the launch of the feature.
Older voice tweets won't get this automatic captioning feature.
This is long overdue.
Many people have argued, saying that Twitter' delay to launch the feature underscores the social network's lack of commitment to accessibility.
A year of waiting is long enough. Finally, Twitter delivers.
The long wait is said to be caused by the lack of dedicated team at Twitter for accessibility at the time.
Twitter employees had to volunteer their own time for accessibility works, and this made the long delay.
Since the company fixed that, announcing that it had formed teams to focus on accessibility in September of 2020, the work can be done a lot faster now.
We took your feedback and we’re doing the work. To improve accessibility features, captions for voice Tweets are rolling out today.
Now when you record a voice Tweet, captions will automatically generate and appear. To view the captions on web, click the “CC” button. https://t.co/hrdI19Itu6 pic.twitter.com/pDlpOUgV6l
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 15, 2021
Transcription for audio and video is part of our larger plan to make Twitter accessible for everyone across all features, both existing and new.https://t.co/c9LTPiE003 (2/2)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 29, 2020
According to Twitter's head of global accessibility Gurpreet Kaur 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."
Besides this, Twitter also offers captions in Twitter Spaces, its Clubhouse-like social audio rooms.
This captioning feature comes after TikTok rolled out its own automatic captions to videos in April, as part of its wider strategy to make the platform more inclusive for users with hearing impairments.