Twitter rolls out its ALT badge and improves image descriptions

Twitter said Thursday that its ALT badge and improved image descriptions are now available globally, accessibility features that will make alt text descriptions more visible to all users. Images that have text descriptions will receive a badge that reads “alt”, and clicking on the badge will bring up the description. Twitter first announced changes would be coming last month.

“As promised, the ALT badge and exposed image descriptions go global today,” read a tweet from Twitter’s accessibility account. “Over the past month, we’ve been fixing bugs and gathering feedback from the Limited Release Group. We’re ready. You’re ready. Let’s describe our images!

Twitter has provided step-by-step instructions for how to add image descriptions in a blog post:

  • After uploading an image to a tweet, select Add description below the image
  • Enter a description of the image in the text box. The character count is in the corner of the box; you have 1000 characters available
  • Click save and an ALT badge will appear in the corner of the image
  • Tweet. If someone clicks on the ALT badge, the description should appear on the screen

Before Thursday’s change, most users didn’t necessarily have access to alt text descriptions unless they were using screen readers. Twitter first introduced image descriptions in 2016, but figuring out where and how to add them can be tricky. The company did not have a dedicated accessibility team until the end of 2020, with workers who wanted to work on accessibility issues volunteering their time.


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