Alt Tags and Twitter Web Accessibility

On Twitter you can add an alt tag to an image to help keep it accessible. For whatever reason this is a setting you have to turn on in order to add an alt tag.

Turn on image descriptions setting

  1. Click on your profile
  2. Go to settings and then on the left menu there is a section called Accessibility.
  3. Check the box next to image descriptionsTwitter Accessibility settings

Add an alt tag to an image

  1. upload image
  2. click description to add alt text

With the image description setting added you will see the black add description box shown in the image below:

twitter alt text field added

Once you click on the image you will have the text box below with the placeholder of, “Describe this photo for the visually impaired.”

Twitter description dialogue open


This is a great ‘feature’ to be able to add an alt tag but I am not sure why this wouldn’t be on by default. I also don’t love the inconsistent wording about what this is. I would prefer they just called it an alt tag. There are other benefits to alt tags other than the visually impaired as well.

I haven’t seen a way to add alt tags to old images or update them. On the one hand this makes sense as you can’t edit any Twitter posts but makes it difficult for an organization that is trying to make changes to improve its Accessibility to its followers. If you find a way let us know on Twitter.

That being said this is an easy thing that you can do to help make the web more accessible.

The screenshots and steps above are all on a desktop computer, you can see twitter’s full guide by visiting their help center