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  • Meerelle Cruz

Twitter Announces Improved Image Captions For Increased Accessibility

After a period of limited availability, feedback and fixing bugs from the release group in the beta phase, ALT badges and exposed image descriptions have been introduced globally on Twitter.


People with no or low vision, users who use assistive technology such as screen readers that display images or text as verbal or braille output, or those who live in low-bandwidth areas will benefit from image descriptions or alt text.



New features on Twitter include public ALT badges and exposed image captions. The platform created these features in response to user feedback about the need to improve image accessibility for differently-abled users and those in low-network locations. By pressing the "ALT" button, users would be able to obtain descriptions such as "Two persons seated at a dining table" or "A white coffee mug”. Users can open the description by clicking the ALT badge, and it can be closed by selecting the Dismiss button, the escape key, or tapping anywhere outside the box.


Both alt text and image descriptions features were previously only available to 3% of Twitter users. Over the course of a month, the platform will refine the features, gather feedback, and fix bugs before releasing them to the rest of the world.


The first step toward making Twitter more accessible was the debut of Voice Tweets in September 2021, which bridged a gap that differently-abled users had been unable to traverse to access numerous areas of the platform. Before that, Twitter was largely unavailable to those with disabilities.


As a result, two new teams, the Accessibility Center of Excellence and the Experience Accessibility Team, were formed to focus on this task. Automated captions for audio and video, as well as the recently announced image descriptions, are all part of the platform's long-term growth plan to make it more accessible.


You can add a description to an image by:

  • Select Add description beneath the image after you've uploaded an image to a Tweet.

  • In the text box, write a description of the image. The character count is located in the corner of the text field; users have up to 1,000 characters available.

  • Select the Save option. An ALT badge will display in the image's corner. ("ALT" stands for alternative text, which is the technical term for image description.)

  • Choose the option to Tweet. The image description appears on the screen when someone selects the ALT badge.

You can follow these steps if you want to add image descriptions to multiple Tweets:

  • If the Tweet has more than one image, users will see arrows at the top of the conversation box that allows them to navigate to each image and provide descriptions.

  • Select the Save option. They'll notice the ALT badge appears on the photographs with descriptions when they've been added. The number of image descriptions has been confirmed by a remark below the photographs that says "2 image descriptions”.


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