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#Twitter Add Image Descriptions to Help the #VisuallyImpaired

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There's plenty of ways to make scrolling through Twitter easier for those with visual impairments. Twitter is largely text based, so screen readers and braille are well suited to it, but Twitter has an image component too, and that's not so easy. As of this week, though, Android and iOS users can add descriptions to the images they post.

The value of that obviously reaches beyond help for the visually impaired, even if that's probably the most important benefit it affords. Being able to caption your images allows you to grant them a bit more context within the tweet. Additionally, the limit for descriptions is 420 characters, so you won't have to worry about the amount of detail on offer being limited by the usual tweet size restrictions.

There were already a few external features that did this job, but obviously in order for that to be viable for the visually impaired, they would have to exclusively follow people who had these third-party plugins enabled, or even request that they use them. Kind of a tall order. Engagement on image tweets is significantly higher than standard ones anyway, so if the functionality already exists, why not make it a part of the core experience?

On the business side of things, it will provide a huge boost to SEO, which in turn makes their API that much more valuable. Twitter is in a very malleable state at the moment, as they try out new ideas in order to increase the public appeal, the business appeal, and the Wall Street value. The notion of increasing the character limit was not a good move, but this most certainly is.

Twitter has always been a site run by nice people, and populated by nasty ones, but with migrations over to other, more general social media platforms, it's becoming more of a professional tool than a social haven, and the trolls are beginning to subside. This feature is only on mobile at the moment, but a web version could well appear within the next month or two.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum


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#Twitter Add Image Descriptions to Help the #VisuallyImpaired Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, April 02, 2016 Rating: 5

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