Last week when I asked my friends on Twitter and Facebook whether they added alternative text (alt text) to the photos they post on Facebook, every person replied said they didn’t know they could.
If you share images on Facebook, do you add alternative text to the image?
— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) May 30, 2018
I was a bit surprised, but not entirely.
The news about adding alternative text to Facebook images wasn’t announced in the same way as the news that Twitter added the alternative text feature for images a couple of years ago.
I told my friends I’d probably write a blog post, so other people would know it’s possible. And here it is!
What is Alternative Text?
Alternative text, also known as alt text, lets you add text descriptions to photos, diagrams, and illustrations.
It provides more information about the function and content of images.
By adding alternative text, the content is more accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.
Another benefit of alternative text: if an image can’t be downloaded or if a user has disabled images from displaying (as in an email app), the alternative text will display where the image would normally show up.
Alternative text also provides semantic meaning to search engines who can’t “see” images.
How to Add Alternative Text to Photos You Post on Facebook
Assuming you have logged into Facebook on the desktop, here’s how to add alternative text to your photos.
- Select Photo/Video at the top of your News Feed or timeline
- Select the photo you want to add
- Select Edit Photo (you may need to hover over the photo)
- In the photo editing options, select Alt Text
- Select Override generated alt text
- Add your own descriptive alt text in the box.
Note: Facebook will warn you when you have gone over 100 characters
- Select Save
From what I discovered, there’s no option on the Facebook mobile app to add alt text to photos you upload.
However, once you’ve posted an image, you can log in to Facebook on desktop, edit the post, and follow steps 3 to 7 to add alt text.
Adding alternative text to Facebook makes your images accessible to more people. I’m glad the steps to add it are straightforward.
Given the number of people who use Facebook’s mobile app, I hope they soon add the feature to their Facebook app.
Did you know Facebook had added the alternative text feature? Have you used it?