Twitter has added alternative text (alt text) support to Twitter Cards and the Twitter REST API, a feature that has been lacking from the platform since its launch back in 2006. Over the years, a number of developers have created workarounds to address the alt text issue. However, most of the solutions developers have created to allow alt text to be added to Twitter images have been somewhat limited.
Twitter has added support for alt text to Twitter Cards and the Twitter REST API allowing developers and third-party applications to publish images on Twitter with alt text, an important piece of metadata for those who are visually impaired. Screen readers and browsers designed for the visually impaired use alt text to explain to users the content of each image on a Web page.
Twitter has added support for “twitter:image:alt” to the Twitter Cards metadata and has added a new endpoint to the Twitter REST API that allows alt text to be created for images that are published on Twitter. Alt text support is also accessible to Twitter applications. Several media publishers including the New York Times, Associated Press, BBC, and SkyNews have already implemented Twitter alt text support on their websites.
It should be noted that adding a new alt text endpoint to the Twitter REST API is a good example of API versioning. It is better to add new resources to an existing resource tree than gut the tree which breaks applications.
For more information about the Twitter REST API and Twitter Cards visit the Twitter Developer website.