Social media platforms are trying to make social media more inclusive. In most cases, the posts carry a ‘trigger warning,’ or a video may carry a ‘flash warning’ sign. Although this move to become more inclusive has come rather later, as the majority might argue, there is no doubt that it has created momentum and started a conversation around inclusivity.
Some platforms allow the users to use ‘Alt text in the form of a description. Alternatively called alt tags and alt descriptions, alt text is basically the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load or appears on the screen. The alt text is primarily used by people who use screen readers to access websites, apps, or other types of software.
This becomes a necessary tool for blind or visually impaired users. Alt-text is now an important feature of Instagram that uses object recognition technology to automatically describe posts to visually impaired users. After almost all social media platform has included alt text, Twitter is finally joining the bandwagon. This feature has not been launched yet as it is currently in the making. The infamous reverse engineer Jane M Wong made the discovery on October 30. She tweeted about her findings.
Her tweet reads, “Twitter is working on alt text display that shows up when you tap on the [ALT] badge on images so that the alt text becomes more accessible to everyone.” In her tweet, she also thanked Twitter Accessibility, a wing of Twitter dedicated to making Twitter accessible to everyone.
This move has been lauded by everyone, but some users were also quick to mention that Twitter is perhaps late when it comes to including alt text for accessibility. It is not clear yet if alt text can work on gifs also.