Visually-Impaired People Can Now “See” Images On Twitter

by • March 31, 2016 • TwitterComments Off on Visually-Impaired People Can Now “See” Images On Twitter4595

Social media should be accessible to everyone. Screen readers and braille technology do a great job with text posts, but until now images have been out of reach for the visually impaired. Facebook has been working on a tech solution, but it is Twitter that first came up with a solution: letting users add text descriptions to the images we share on the platform.

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Starting today, when you upload an image in a tweet, you can add a text description that can be read like any other text-post using assistive technology, and  let visually impaired people understand what you are sharing.

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Text descriptions on Twitter can use up to 420 characters, on top of the usual 140-character limit for your tweet of course.


As on most social media platforms, adding images to your tweets helps to increase engagement on your content. Although visually-impaired people still cannot “see” your images, the text description will be a massive addition to their experience, and help them better understand the context of what you are sharing.

Of course, on top of making Twitter a more accessible platform, Venture Beat explained that a text description will also have a huge impact on search engine rankings. 

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To enable this feature, go to your accessibility settings on Twitter, and select the compose image descriptions option. The next time you add an image to a Tweet, each thumbnail in the composer will have an add description button.

Featured image credit: Max Fleishman

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