Twitter adds alt text to images to improve accessibility for visually impaired

30 Mar 2016

The new alt text feature to make Twitter more accessible for the visually impaired rolls out on iOS and Android immediately

Twitter has added the ability to add alternative (alt) text to images, making Twitter more accessible for the visually impaired.

As of now, people using both iOS and Android versions of Twitter’s app will be able to add descriptions of up to 420 characters to images within Tweets.

“We’re excited to empower our customers and publishers to make images on Twitter accessible to the widest possible audience, so everyone can be included in the conversation and experience the biggest moments together,” said Todd Kloots, staff engineer at Twitter.

Users can enable this feature by using the “compose image descriptions” option in the Twitter app’s accessibility settings.


After that, the next time you add an image to a tweet each thumbnail in the composer will have an “add description” button.

People who are visually impaired will have access to the description via their assistive technology, such as screen readers and braille displays.

Twitter has extended its platform products to the REST API and Twitter cards, which is vital to specialised clients for the visually impaired such as  EasyChirpChicken Nugget, and The Qube.

Main image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years