May 27, 2022

New Post From Facebook Research: “Developing Automatic-Alt Text for Facebook Screen Reader Users”

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

Research Paper: “How Blind People Interact with Visual Content on Social Networking Services”

See Also: Under the hood: Building accessibility tools for the visually impaired on Facebook (April 2016)

See Also: AAT Promo Video (April 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.