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Digital Accessibility

Social Media & Alt Text

Alt text is important for social media posts, too! Each social media platform has its own instructions for adding alt text to your images.

Adding Alt Text to Specific Platforms

You'll write alt text for social media post images the same way you would for any other image. However, the process for adding alt text to your image is different depending which social media platform you are using.


Solutions to Common Issues

Some social media platforms have limitations that make it difficult to add the appropriate alt text. These best practices will help you ensure your digital content is still as accessible as it can be.

Short Character Limits

Some social media platforms limit alt text to the point where you may have to rewrite a shorter version to make it fit. Start with the most important information first, including any text in the image. If possible, you consider describing the image in the post itself where you have more room.

Inability to Mark Images as Decorative

If you're unable to mark images as decorative in a particular platform, you will need to write alt text for the image. Since decorative images add no visual information to the screen, keep your alt text as short and helpful as possible.

What Not to Do

Do not leave the field blank or enter the following for alt text in this situation:

  • "image"
  • ""

No Option to Add Alt Text for Videos

Some social media platforms do not offer the option to add alt text to video thumbnails. You will need to describe the video thumbnail in the post itself or, if available, a post caption.

Cannot Add Alt Text to Stories

Most social media platforms that have a "Stories" feature do not support screen reader functionality for Stories. This means that not only is there no way to add alt text to the stories you post, writing your description as part of the story won't work either. 

Making Your Story Content Accessible

The best option is to make your story content available another way that people can access from your social profile. For example, create a post with the same information found in your story — there you can add alt text and a longer description if necessary.

Pay careful attention to high-priority or far-reaching content.

If the information you're sharing in your story is especially important for your audience to know or especially meaningful to the majority of your audience, making your content accessible in this way is critically important. 

Is your image also a link?

If your image is a link, it cannot be marked as decorative. You'll need to follow the practices for linked images instead.
Linked Image Instructions » 

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