Twitter said Thursday that its ALT badge and improved image descriptions are now available globally, accessibility features that will make alt text descriptions more prominent for all users. Images that have text descriptions will get a badge that reads “alt,” and clicking on the badge will bring up the description. Twitter first announced changes were coming last month.
“As promised, the ALT badge and exposed image descriptions go global today,” reads a tweet from Twitter’s Accessibility account. “Over the past month, we fixed bugs and gathered feedback from the limited release group. We’re ready. You’re ready. Let’s describe our images!”
As promised, the ALT badge and exposed image descriptions go global today.— Twitter Accessibility (@TwitterA11y) April 7, 2022
Over the past month, we fixed bugs and gathered feedback from the limited release group. We're ready. You're ready. Let's describe our images! Here's how: https://t.co/bkJmhRpZPg https://t.co/ep1ireBJGt
Twitter provided step-by-step instructions for how to add the image descriptions in a blog post:
- After uploading an image to a tweet, select Add description underneath the image
- Enter a description of the image in the text box. The character count is in the corner of the box; you have 1,000 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-screen
Before Thursday’s change, most users didn’t necessarily have access to alt text descriptions unless using screen readers. Twitter first introduced image descriptions in 2016, but it could be hard to find where and how to add them. The company didn’t have a dedicated accessibility team until late 2020, with workers who wanted to work on accessibility issues volunteering their time.