Accessible Social Media By Platform

Making Social Media Accessible

Social media is one of the most powerful and wide-reaching ways to share and receive information. But as social media platforms evolve, so must accessibility standards. When developing and communicating different types of content on social media, keep the following areas in mind.

The development and adoption of accessible, universally designed technology is critical to making sure people with disabilities succeed at work and deliver for their employers.

Social Media Accessibility

Facebook

Twitter

Snapchat

YouTube

Instagram

Vine

TikTok

Blogs

Facebook

Limit Acronyms

Take advantage of the space Facebook provides and always spell out the first instance of the acronym and add the acronym, in parentheses after (e.g., Social Media Emergency Management (SMEM)). This is especially helpful for those using screen readers, because after the name is heard and the acronym is spelled out, the user will be better able to associate the sound of the acronym with the full name.

Add captions to photos 

Add captions to ensure that individuals will understand what is going on in the picture. The captions do not need to be very long, but they should describe what the scene is, and how elements of the image appear and provide context for the image.

Videos posted directly to Facebook should be closed captioned

Videos can be closed captioned by adding a SubRip file to the video after it is posted. To learn how to caption Facebook videos, please click here.

As an alternative to directly uploading videos to Facebook, upload videos to YouTube and post the link to the video in a status update. Since YouTube automatic captioning can be inaccurate, prepare an accurate transcript and upload it whenever possible.

Connect with Facebook's Accessibility Team

Twitter

#UseCamelCase

What is camel case? It's when you capitalize the first letters of compound words. It makes it easier visually and for screen readers to pronounce the individual words more clearly (e.g., use #GoTeamGo instead of #goteamgo).

Make your tweets descriptive

If your tweet links to photo, video or audio content, make your tweet act as a caption so it provides context for the item, and then link back to a website page that hosts a tagged photo, captioned video or audio with full caption. Or send a follow-up tweet with a description.

Use the 'image description' feature

Enable the “image description” feature in settings, which will allow you to add a descriptive caption to any photo that you directly include in a tweet. For instructions on enabling the image description feature on the web and on iOS and Android mobile apps, please click here.

Indicate whether a link in a tweet is a photo, video or audio file (e.g. [PIC], [VIDEO], [AUDIO])

This allows people using screen readers to know what to expect before opening any link. Use uppercase formats for further clarity to sighted users.​​

Collect and send tweets as emails

For example, Disability.gov allows users to subscribe to tweets by signing up to receive email alerts using GovDelivery services. Email can be a more accessible method for reading information for some users and also provides another opportunity for all followers to receive messages that might have been overlooked in a busy timeline. You can collect tweets as a batch and then send them together in one email.

Read more about accessibility on Twitter

Snapchat

Plan your Snapchat story with accessibility in mind

Use the platform to tell a succinct story. Try storyboarding it before you start, just like you would if you were creating a video. See if the story makes sense from beginning to end and if it clearly communicates the information you’re trying to get across.

Once you have created your story, download it in its full form from the Snapchat app

To do that, swipe to the right from the main photo screen. You will see your story at the top. Tap the three dots next to “My Story” and click the download arrow. This will save a video file to your phone enabling you to save the Snap story for your records management purposes.

Edit this video file for accessibility

You will need to create a captioned audio description and voice-over for the video. This will require some basic audio- recording and video-editing software.

Record the audio first 

Make sure the person recording the voice-over speaks slowly and clearly to describe what is happening in the video for those with limited vision. In the video-editing software, lay down your audio track and then drop your Snapchat video file on top of it. Edit as necessary until your audio and video sync.

Export and share your completed video!

Make sure to include captions and a text transcript for screen readers. Now people unable to access content through the Snapchat app will still be able to experience what you are sharing.

Read a step-by-step guide to SnapChat accessibility

YouTube

Include high-quality audio

People who are hard of hearing may have difficulty with the soundtrack of videos that contain music or other effects, or which have not been produced to high audio quality. You need to be especially attuned to sound quality when creating accessible content.

Ensure all videos have closed captions and audio description

Captions and a full transcript of captions and audio description are useful tools for people who have both hearing and visual impairments. YouTube has a feature that will automatically caption videos, but since YouTube's automatic captioning can be very inaccurate, prepare your own accurate transcript and upload it whenever possible.

Watch YouTube's caption tutorial

Instagram

Describe each image

Instagram now allows you to add alternative text and custom alternative so visually impaired users can hear a description of each image through a screen reader. Users should take advantage of these features by including a description of image they are posting.

Caption and Transcribe​

Instagram does not allow users to add closed captions to videos, so users should provide a detailed caption that describes what is happening in the video and includes a transcript of what is being said in the video

Camel Case

Use camel case (uppercasing the first letter of each word) for multiple words within a hashtag if you include any in the caption. For example, use #GoTeamGo and not #goteamgo

Read how to add alternative text on Instagram

Vine

Add a transcript to the description field

When uploading a video clip, add a transcript to cover spoken and visual action to Vine’s “description” field

Use descriptive text for screen readers

In addition to including captioning for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, information that is conveyed visually needs to include descriptive text readable by screen readers for individuals who are blind or who have low or limited vision

Consider embedding

Vine videos can also be embedded in a website where they can be captioned and described. Closed-captions an be embedded Vine video on your website using a tool like the JW Player.

Read Vine's Accessibility Guide

TikTok

Add Closed Captions

There are a few different ways to add captions to your TikTok videos. Learn more here.

Blogs

Simple layout

Choose a blog template that has few columns and a simple layout. The layout should be consistent across all pages of the blog so as not to confuse users. The blog’s design should have enough color contrast between the background and the font for ease of reading.

Choose the right platform

Set up your blog on an appropriate blogging platform. WordPress, and Blogger are two of the most popular options for bloggers because they are easy to customize. For more information on WordPress’ accessibility, visit the Codex.

Alternative text, captions, and more

Add alternative text and captions to all images on the blog and within posts. Link to videos and audio components, and include transcripts of all video content. Ensure that sounds and video do not play upon a page loading – give users the choice to press the play button.

Keep your writing simple

Use plain language and try to break long paragraphs into smaller chunks of text

Download Social Media Accessibility By Platform (PDF)

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