Making Your Social Media Content Accessible

By Lisa Hirst Carnes | August 2021

A person using an accessibility computer accessory surrounded by social icons.

We all know that social media is a great way to stay connected with family, friends, colleagues, celebrities, and public figures. Following accessibility best practices ensures that your posts are accessible to everyone. 

The good news is that over the last few years the web has become a more accessible place. And better still, the social media giants are committed to improving accessibility. 

Google was first to blaze the trail in 2009 when it announced automatic captioning on YouTube. 

In 2016, Facebook and Twitter made inroads towards accessibility for all. Facebook first launched its automated alt-text (AAT) process, leveraging machine learning wherever alt-text descriptions were not provided. The AAT process enables automated identification of objects within posted images to create a more accessible experience for all.

That same year, Twitter announced accessible images for everyone. 

In 2018, Instagram joined Twitter and Facebook when it announced the rollout of alternative text support. This improvement allows users to add “alt text” to images so visually impaired users can better understand images on the screen. 

Finally, LinkedIn added the ability to update alt-text on images in 2019. 

Public figures and celebrities are instrumental in pushing the web accessibility movement forward. After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected to congress, she began using Clipomtatic to caption her Instagram Stories.  

You don't have to be a celebrity to make the web a better, more inclusive place. We can all play a vital role. 

Here are some helpful resources. 

Social Media Accessibility Resources

Facebook Accessibility Information

Facebook Closed Captions for Video

How to Add Alt-Text to Images on Instagram

How to Make Images Accessible on Twitter

Adding Alternative Text to Images on LinkedIn

How To Add Alternate Text to Pins on Pinterest

YouTube Automatic Captioning

Adding Subtitles and Captions

Confused about accessibility? We can help. Contact us to learn more. 

Topics: Tips and Tricks

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