Twitter Spaces, the company’s social audio rooms, no longer lets you use captions if you’re listening on iOS. Twitter still advertises that you can turn on captions through the three-dot menu in a Space, but on iOS, that option currently isn’t there.
On other platforms, it seems like captions should work but don’t. When listening to a Space on the web, captions don’t show, and while the “CC” closed captions button is present, clicking it on or off doesn’t change anything. On Android, the option to turn on captions is there, but it didn’t work for one Verge staffer.
The loss of captions in Spaces is a major blow to accessibility on the platform, as captions can be useful for those who are hard of hearing or who may want to follow a conversation but aren’t able to listen to the audio.
Captions have apparently been gone for some time. A tweet from January shows that they seem to have been removed in version 9.4 of the app, and that tweet noted that captions in Spaces “have not worked for a while.”
We don’t know why Twitter seems to have removed captions for Spaces, but it seems possible that they’re yet another casualty of CEO Elon Musk’s sweeping cost-cutting initiatives. The company has already instituted sweeping layoffs (that are still happening despite Musk saying that Twitter would be done with layoffs), turned off a data center on Christmas Eve, and is allegedly not paying rent.
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, though the company dissolved its press office as part of last year’s layoffs.