Twitter is expand access into an opt-in feature designed to make its platform more accessible to people using screen readers. The social network is rolling out image description prompts to encourage more people to add descriptions to photos they share. Twitter begins testing this feature in July with 10% of users and is currently available to everyone on the platform.
The image description, or alt text, is a description of what appears in the image and provides context for people who may be blind or have low vision and use screen readers. It’s a way to ensure that all users can participate in conversations. Images posted on Twitter without alt text will not be accessible to people using screen readers.
Twitter also notes that alt text is useful not only to people using screen readers, but also to people in low-bandwidth areas, web phone users, and anyone else who wants to learn more. about image.
You can enable the new prompt by going into your settings and selecting “Accessibility,” then tapping the “Get image description prompt” option. Once enabled, this feature will send you web and mobile reminders prompting you to add alt text when you’re about to tweet an image. This feature is designed to get you in the habit of adding alt text to every image you share on the platform to ensure that it is accessible to everyone.
The social network says it’s important to be concise and objective when adding alt text. For example, if you’re uploading a picture of a beach, you might write: “an empty beach at sunset with reds, oranges, purples, and blues in a cloudless sky. The palm tree is visible in the foreground”.
Images with descriptions will be uploaded with an “ALT” badge in the lower left corner to make it clear that there is additional descriptive text. Like tweet text translation, Twitter translates image descriptions to make sure people around the world can access them.
The launch of alt text prompts goes like Twitter rolls out a button to toggle closed subtitles for all users on iOS and Android a few months ago. The CC toggle button appears in the upper-right corner of the video with the subtitles available. You can then tap the button to turn the subtitles on or off. Twitter added a toggle button after it launched subtitles are automatically generated on video last December to make it more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing users.