May 25, 2022

Sometimes new Twitter features can cause controversy – we’ve clarified our relationship with the edit button, which clearly works. But we can (hopefully) all agree that simple accessibility is a good thing.

For some time, Twitter has made it easy to add alt text to uploaded images, allowing Twitter users to provide a description of the image to help screen readers or people using speech-to-text programs. But until now, unless you’ve used a screen reader yourself, you couldn’t tell which images had alt text and which didn’t—like if you wanted to make sure you retweeted. may be blind or limited, you just have to retweet and hope for the best.

Following a successful trial last month, Twitter is adding two additions to its alt text feature. Starting today, images with alt text will have an “ALT” icon in the corner of the image. When you hover over the icon, you’ll see a user-created image description.

On social media, non-disabled users often don’t consider that their posting habits – even if they use certain meme formats – can adversely affect the online experience of disabled users or prevent them from participating in conversations.

Social media accessibility expert Alexa Henrik believes this feature is a step in the right direction as it clarifies the presence of alt text and encourages users to learn more about accessibility exercises.

“First, it clarifies who writes the alternative text and who does not. Secondly, this feature is a great learning tool for anyone who wants to improve their alt text experience because now you can easily see what others are typing.” tweetedI

Twitter says these new features will be available to all users worldwide today. So now is a good time to find out why and how you should be write alternative textI

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