Posting photos on Twitter? Adding Alt text now much easier!

In the article titled “You no longer have an excuse to forget alt text on your Twitter photos” (Christina Alexander, July 13, 2022) the author describes how, in March of this year, Twitter added two new optional features that assist with adding ALT text to pictures and images. The public Alt badge and exposed image description. Alt text is used for images to help people with low/no vision, those who use assistive technology or those who live in low-band width areas. (Twitter Help: https://bit.ly/3co3xqJ).

Accessibility for Ontarians

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA 2005) is an Ontario law that sets standards that all organizations, be it Government, private sector or non-profit, must follow to become more accessible to people with disabilities (https://aoda.ca/what-is-the-aoda/). Ontario is set to become the first province in Canada to be fully accessible by 2025. Using ALT text for pictures and images on the web is one such instance that this Act aims to utilize to allow persons with different vision abilities to fully appreciate content on the web.

Alt Text vs. No Alt Text

As you can see in the twitter post below (Images taken from Article), an individual with low vision would not be able to fully appreciate the post if no ALT text were added.

By utilizing Twitters new feature, the post now becomes much more informative for all readers.

Need a reminder to add ALT text?

No Problem! As the author explains, on July 13, Twitter announced it had added yet another feature to its ALT text attributes – Reminders! According to a post written by report Shaokyi Amdo on The Verge, the reminder feature is optional. A pop-up reminder box will appear before the image is posted asking the user to add ALT text or to skip the process. The article outlines the process for activating the reminders in Twitter. It’s easy! To turn on the alt text reminder, go to Settings and privacy, scroll down to Accessibility, display, and languages, tap Accessibility, and scroll down to the Images section. Here, tap the toggle called Receive image description reminder.

Less is more – usually!

The author of the article outlines that writing for the web, and Twitter especially, is a skill that needs practice. Character limits aside, the ALT text for images can become wordy and too descriptive. Succinct descriptions are best and ensure the end user gets the full description without a long-winded explanation.

Check out this Twitter Post showing ALT Text.

Have you used the new features on Twitter? Try it and let me know what you think!

3 thoughts on “Posting photos on Twitter? Adding Alt text now much easier!

  1. Accessiblity is often a forgotten element on social media and/or websites. We should not assume that everyone has the same abilities to read and interpret.

    Having an easy way to provide ALT on Twitter is certainly a step forward. But in general accessibility should be part of the DNA of any social media or website. It should reference contrast, font sizes and spacing and consistent design in terms of functions.

    I am glad to see this introduced.

  2. This is so important, thank you!! I think most of us need reminders on how to make sure our content is accessible to everyone, I for sure do. Hoping to see this become more and more of a normal standard!

  3. Hello Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for your informative post! 🙂

    It is fantastic to hear that a popular social media platform has implemented new features to increase the accessibility of its content. While these features might currently be optional, I hope it will eventually be common and required to include ALT text in social media posts containing images. I think social media users should consider accessibility from the start to be considerate of the diverse audience who’ll consume their content.

    You have done an excellent job explaining and illustrating how these features work. Thanks again!

    Cheers,
    Laura

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