Twitter begins testing two new accessibility features that can make image descriptions or alt text descriptions more prominent on the platform. According to Twitter, “Today, we’re launching 2 features to 3% of Twitter across Android, iOS, and Web: the public ALT badge and exposed image descriptions.”
We’ve gotten a lot of feedback about how to improve the image description (or alt text) experience on Twitter. Today, we’re launching 2 features to 3% of Twitter across Android, iOS, and Web: the public ALT badge and exposed image descriptions. 🧵 (1 of 6) pic.twitter.com/HCYzIYEdal
— Twitter Accessibility (@TwitterA11y) March 9, 2022
Two new accessibility features: ALT badge and exposed image descriptions
The two new accessibility features such as; the ALT badge on images will let the readers know if someone has added a description to the image. According to Twitter, “Image descriptions or alt text benefits people who are blind, have low vision, use assistive technology, live in low-bandwidth areas, or want more context” Twitter added the feature to include alt-text descriptions with uploaded images in 2016, back then, it involves tapping or clicking through an extra menu, which not all users were aware of. As of now, you can see in the picture below, there’ll be a new ‘+ALT’ indicator on the image, which will make it easier to tap through and quickly add in-text detail.
If you are the beta tester, you can add alt text to an image by tapping the “Add description” button that appears after you upload a picture. As per rules, you want to be concise but descriptive when writing alt tags. You’ll then see an “alt” badge appear at the bottom left corner of the image you can tap to read the description.
Image description reminder
Twitter’s thread also mentions that the accessibility team is also working on an “image description reminder,” which could help make alt text even more popular on the platform. A Twitter user replied to a thread asking to auto-generate the alt text, to which Twitter replied; “We’re currently exploring auto-generated image descriptions, Reg. Adding descriptions after posting is a tough one. What if we gave you a reminder to add it before posting instead?”