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Twitter is improving accessibility features – but there’s more work to be done

Why is it off by default? Accessibility is an important aspect of technology, and it’s only in the last few years that companies have taken it seriously. That’s why a new reminder feature from Twitter is great, but also strange in the way it’s introduced to users.

Twitter is improving its accessibility features – but there's more work to be done
Twitter is improving its accessibility features – but there’s more work to be done

Add a description to images that have been on Twitter for some time. It allows the visually impaired to read a small block of text explaining what the image is, from its color to its location and more.

Seeing images on Twitter as you scroll through your feed is incredibly common. From memes to what people are currently doing, there are a lot of things that some users may miss.

So while this new feature will prompt you to write a description (open in the new tab) when you add an image to a tweet, it’s confusing when it comes to users who have been turned off.

Analysis: Take a step forward, take a step back

This feature is currently available to 10% of all Twitter users on iOS and Android, and if you’re lucky enough to be in this group, you can go to Settings> Accessibility, display, and language> Accessibility and reminders will show up at the bottom so you can turn it on.

However, this aspect feels outdated. There should be a default reminder when adding an image – even just a few words to say what it is can be enough for many visually impaired users.

To be fair, Instagram (open in the new tab) and Facebook (open in the new tab) have the ability to add image descriptions, but there’s no prompt to add them to these apps at all.

There have been encouraging moves from Meta and Twitter on general accessibility, but reminders should be a popular feature turned on by default, not the other way around.

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