Twitter will remind users to add descriptions to make images more accessible

The social network is rolling out an image description reminder feature to prompt users to add text as an alternative for people who can’t see them.

Featured on some platforms, image description, also known as alt text, helps make images accessible to more people, including blind and visually impaired people. Available on Twitter since 2016, the social network wants to encourage users to use it. On September 19, he announced the rollout of a callback feature for these descriptionshoping users get into the habit of adding alt text for every image they post on Twitter.

Previously tested with a few people, this feature will not be enabled by default, so it is necessary to go to the settings for the platform to remind you to add a description to an image. For posts that include alt text, an ALT badge will appear in the lower left corner, letting users know that a description is available. In addition, as with tweets, these alternative texts will be translated in order to be accessible to everyone.

A usefulness questioned

While this feature is beneficial to the blind and visually impaired, as well as others who cannot see images, its usefulness is questioned by some users. This, compared to the fact that it is not activated by default. They claim that only individuals aware of this deployment will be able to activate it. In the face of these criticisms, Twitter reacted, indicating that it was not intentionally trying to exclude anyone with this choice, as stated by Gerard Cohen, head of software engineering within the experience team of accessibility of the social network, to the media The Verge.

“We know this is a process for people. This is only the first step. We will continue to iterate and learn from it”, he explained. The goal with this feature was first to make it available to everyone. The social network will then educate users on how to properly use alt text. He also advises to be concise and objective in the descriptions.

These reminders are in addition to the other features of the platform to “make the public conversation accessible to all”. These include enabled captions for videos, audio conversations in Spaces, and voice tweets.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.