Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Improved ALT badge and Image Descriptions on Twitter

by Jaime Rodriguez, RDPFS Intern

As covered in last week’s Bulletin, “Alternative Text is Helping to Make the Internet Accessible for Everyone.” Following up on that piece, we’d like to share that Twitter has recently unveiled alternative text badges and exposed image descriptions on its platform. Alternative text, ALT text for short, when available, can be detected and either read aloud or translated into braille using screen readers and other assistive technology. Twitter’s new feature allows for ALT image descriptions to be added in place of a picture on a Tweet, or below the Tweet with the image. ALT text ensures that readers who are visually impaired have full access to the content, while also allowing search engines to crawl the message more effectively. To add ALT image descriptions to an image in a Tweet, start by making a Tweet with an image, select “add description” underneath the image, enter up to 1,000 characters in the text box to describe it, and click “save.” The ALT badge will appear in the corner of the image. Once the Tweet is posted, users will see the ALT badge, which, when clicked on, opens the description. The rollout of ALT image descriptions on Twitter helps to make the platform more accessible to users with disabilities, allowing for a more immersive experience. For more information, read the Times Now article, “Twitter rolls out improved ALT badge and exposed image descriptions, here is how to use it.”