From the Facebook Research Blog:
The release of the Automatic Alt-Text service allows people who are blind (or might otherwise use screen readers) to better understand what exists in photos in their News Feeds. User research helped develop the tool through interviews, usability testing, and surveys. In this note, we’ll briefly touch on some of the highlights of this work.
Facebook’s mission is to create a more open and connected world, and to give people the power to share. Worldwide, more than 39 million people are blind, and more than 246 million have a severe visual impairment. They have reported experiences of feeling frustrated, excluded, or isolated because they can’t fully participate in conversations centered on photos and videos. In an effort to allow more people to participate in the social aspect of photo viewing, Facebook launched Automatic Alt-Text (AAT) to allow screen reader users the ability to understand the content of most images (hopefully all images soon!) in News Feed.
Read the Complete Blog Post
See Also: AAT Promo Video (April 2016)