- Twitter is expanding its alt text tool with two new capabilities following a successful test last month.
- Today, images that incorporate alternative text will include an “ALT” label in the image’s corner.
- Hovering your cursor over the badge displays the user-generated image description.
- Alexa Heinrich, a social media accessibility specialist, says this feature is a positive step forward since it increases the visibility of alt text, encouraging users to learn about accessibility.
At times, new Twitter features may be polarizing – we’ve already expressed our opposition to the edit button, which is reportedly in development. However, we everyone can understand (hopefully) the importance of fundamental accessibility features.
For a long time, Twitter has made it simple to include alt text with picture uploads, allowing users to contribute a description of an image to assist users of screen readers or speech-to-text systems. However, until now, you couldn’t tell whether an image had alt text or not unless you were using a screen reader yourself — so, for example, if you wanted to ensure that the content you retweeted was accessible to followers who may be blind or have limited vision, you’d have to retweet and hope for the best.
Following a successful test last month, Twitter expanded its alt text tool with two new features. Beginning today, photos with alt text will include an “ALT” label in the image’s corner. The user-generated picture description appears when you hover your mouse over the badge.
Frequently, users who do not have impairments on social media are unaware of how their posting habits — even sharing specific meme forms — can negatively impact disabled users’ online experience or prohibit them from participating in the conversation. Alexa Heinrich, a social media accessibility specialist, believes this feature is a step in the right way since it makes alt text more visible, pushing users to learn about accessibility.
It makes it more evident who is responsible for producing alt text and who is not. Second, the function is an excellent teaching tool for anybody interested in improving their ability to write alt text. She tweeted; you can now quickly see what others are writing. According to Twitter, these new functionalities will be available to all users globally. Thus, now is an excellent moment to learn why and how to write alt text.
What is ‘Alt Text’?
The term ‘alt text’ is an abbreviation for ‘alternative text. A brief textual explanation of a picture makes sense when the image cannot be viewed due to technical difficulties. Well-written alt text is critical for your website’s accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO).
Because an image’s alt text gives semantic meaning and a description, search engines use it to deliver search results. Put another way; compelling alt text provides search engines with additional – and better – information with which to rank your website; hence, they will rank it higher. The more deliberately and usefully you describe your information to people, the more easily search engine robots will grasp it.
- It is read by screen readers in place of images, allowing those who are blind or have a visual impairment to access your image content.
- It may be beneficial for those who have sensory processing and learning difficulties.
- In browsers, it is displayed instead of the picture if the image file has not yet been loaded or if the user has elected not to view images.