On Tuesday, Twitter announced that it is making its apps more accessible to the visually impaired with alt text.
"Photos have been at the center of some of the biggest moments on Twitter. As a core part of the Twitter experience, it's important that images shared on our platform are accessible to everyone, including those who are visually impaired. Starting today, people using our iOS and Android apps can add descriptions — also known as alternative text (alt text) — to images in Tweets," said Twitter Staff Engineer Todd Kloots in a blog post. This feature is not turned on by default, but it can be enabled using the "compose image descriptions" option in the app's accessibility settings. Once enabled, users will be able to add a description of up to 420 characters when they add an image to a tweet. Visually impaired users' assistive technology, such as a screen reader, will have access to this description.
While this feature may not be used by the average Twitter user, it will likely be popular with developers and publishers. "To ensure publishers and third-party clients also have the capability to add alt text to images, we've extended our platform products to both the REST API and Twitter Cards. We know this is especially important for specialized Twitter clients for the visually impaired, such as EasyChirp, Chicken Nugget, and The Qube," said Kloots. "We're excited to empower our customers and publishers to make images on Twitter accessible to the widest possible audience, so everyone can be included in the conversation and experience the biggest moments together."
Photo: © iStock.