Tech on Tuesday: Social Media Accessibility

For the more than 285 million people in the world with visual impairments, Instagram just got a bit more accessible.

Instagram is rolling out two new improvements to help people with visual impairments use its app.

Last week, Instagram introduced automatic alternative text. It allows users to hear descriptions of photos through their screen reader when using the app. 

The new feature uses object recognition technology to generate the descriptions for screen readers, so you can listen to a list of items that photos may contain as you browse.

Another new feature from Instagram is its custom alternative text. The idea is for you to add a richer description of your photos when you upload a photo.

Instagram isn’t the only social media platform working to make its product more accessible to everyone.

Facebook’s automatic photo captioning tool describes objects in photos to people with vision loss.

Facebook also has a number of closed captioning features to help those who are hearing impaired, like closed captions for videos on Facebook via text file upload, automatic video captioning for ads and Pages and real-time captioning in Facebook Live broadcasts.

Twitter also gives users the option to compose a description of images they share so the content is accessible to people who are visually impaired.


Categories: Tech on Tuesdays, the four