A question that I frequently get when I talk about accessibility for social media is, “How do I write good alternative text for the pictures I post?”
If you’re not familiar with alternative text—more commonly known as alt text—it’s the written copy that describes the content of an image in a digital space and plays a significant role in making the online world more inclusive.
I’ve tweeted about it, I’ve recorded a video about it, and now I’m going to write long-form about a practice that has become commonplace on social media, especially Twitter, and frustrates me to no end.
I’m talking about flattened copy on images.
Flattened copy is text that has been turned into an object and is no longer recognized by basic technology as readable characters. If you run your cursor over it or tap it on your mobile phone, you will be unable to select the text. Most screen readers typically cannot read flattened text.
You probably see this quite frequently…
President Joe Biden has made it no secret that he wants to better support the disabled community during his time in the Oval Office.
He said as much in his November victory speech as well as making it obvious at his Inauguration. There were several accessible options for viewing and listening to the ceremony on January 20th, the Pledge of Allegiance was signed by Captain Andrea Hall, and the now-famous Amanda Gorman recited a moving poem and has an auditory processing disorder.
Biden’s digital team also made sure that accessibility was a priority for the revamp of the White House…
I get it; social media is still pretty new. In relation to other areas of marketing like print, television, and radio, it’s practically a baby, and the people who make a career out of it have varied backgrounds and levels of education.
Like with any career path, social media is one that deserves respect. Most digital marketers, content creators, and other social media professionals are sadly very familiar with the flippant attitudes that many people adopt when they learn about the line of work we’re in.
However, we also know that these minor condescending comments and actions aren’t normally meant…
Whether content creators like it or not (and most are leaning towards not), Fleets for Twitter are finally here. This is the bird app’s own version of stories, a feature that Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and, most recently, LinkedIn all have in some capacity.
Similar to its counterparts on the other platforms, Fleets will disappear after 24 hours and video Fleets can only be 30 seconds long. An impressive part of Twitter’s stories function is the fact that you can add alt text to your still Fleets, something that the other social media platforms have yet to figure out.
If I haven’t convinced you with any of my previous articles on the subject, alternative text—more commonly known as alt text—is important when it comes to creating and publishing inclusive content on social media.
Thankfully, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn all allow you to add alt text before publishing, but what about third-party sites and apps? I did my best to get some insight into the accessibility features that some of the better-known management tools offer right now.
Nearly two years after introducing alt text for photo posts, Instagram is finally taking another step towards a more accessibility-friendly app experience with the addition of automated captions for IGTV videos.
The update was long overdue, especially since Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, added closed captioning for Facebook Live videos back in 2017. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make Facebook and Instagram truly inclusive platforms (I’m looking at you, Stories), but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Here are a few helpful insights to keep in mind if you plan on adding auto-captions…
I cannot stop thinking about Brayden Harrington.
He’s the 13-year-old boy who has suddenly found himself in the spotlight after his recorded speech was played during the 2020 Democratic National Convention last night, August 20. Brayden’s speech was notable because he has a stutter, a trait he shares with Presidential nominee Joe Biden. He took notable pauses during his speech and some words caused him more trouble than others, but Brayden proudly recounted the time he met Biden and the impact that the former Vice President had on him. …
As a social media professional working in higher education, 2020 has been nightmarish for me at best. It’s like the hangover that never ends if that hangover was brought on by taking too many shots of Malört in a loud dive-bar that you didn’t want to go to in the first place.
Most people working in social media in the United States were already expecting 2020 to be more extra than usual thanks to it being an election year. …
In 1839, photography enthusiast Robert Cornelius took a self-portrait in Philadelphia using a method of early photography called daguerreotypy. While his picture was obviously not taken with a mobile phone and probably required him to hold still for several minutes, Cornelius had unwittingly taken the first known selfie.
The modern selfie has been a cultural phenomenon in many Asian countries, especially Japan, since as early as the 1990s, but didn’t take off in the United States until shortly after the turn of the century. …