Accessible publishing on social media? This is how you do that

6 June 2023  
Illustration. Man walks into a smartphone screen via a staircase.

Social media is now an indispensable part of society. Not just for personal use; it is also an important part of communication for many companies. In order to reach the largest possible group, it is important to take into account the accessibility of the content. In this blog you can read how you can do that.

There are plenty of ways to post content on social media: from texts to photos and from videos to memes. But most media is not directly designed to make it accessible to all users, even though the goal of sharing content on social media is to be able to share it with as many people as possible. There are often more possibilities with the platforms than previously thought, but it is important to take steps yourself. With various (small) adjustments, content becomes a lot more accessible to a wider audience.

1 - Add a text alternative

People with a visual impairment can hardly see images, videos or, for example, GIFs. Adding a text alternative or a transcript to such visual content can help people better understand this information. With this you give a short description of the image or video. Reading software can then convert this descriptive text into speech, making visual content – ​​in this case an image translated into text – more accessible to a larger group. It can also be useful if, for example, the visual content cannot be loaded. You can add a text alternative by means of a so-called alt text, a function available on most well-known platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. The alt text is automatically created for the photo or video, but the text can also be entered manually. Scribit.Pro develops a text alternative for a video into a fully written transcript, in which all visual and auditory information from the video is included.

2 - Add subtitles

In addition to visual information, a video also contains a lot of auditory information. When a user does not hear or cannot hear the sound, a lot of information may be lost.

Subtitles can help the deaf and hard of hearing to better understand the story, especially when the subtitles, in addition to the representation of what is being said or told, also provide information about who is speaking, about relevant background sounds, (atmospheric) music and things as intonation. Subtitling can also help people without a hearing impairment at a time when a video cannot be viewed with sound, such as on the train or at the office. Scribit.Pro specializes in subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing. But subtitling that translates dialogue is also part of our expertise. Translation subtitles help the (hearing) user to understand the speech in a video when it is in a foreign language or dialect. Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing make it easier for people with a hearing impairment to follow a video. People with autism, learning or reading problems or people with a cognitive disability also benefit from subtitling. Scribit.Pro makes videos more accessible to a wide group of users by adding subtitles.

3 - Limit the use of emojis

Although emojis can spice up a text, there are also some disadvantages. Many emojis also have a text alternative that is read aloud, for example "face with heart-shaped eyes." An overload of these types of symbols can make it difficult to follow the message. Also make sure that an emoji only serves as an addition to the text (not to replace words) and that it only concerns emojis that are clear to everyone. This prevents texts from being misinterpreted.

4 - Look at the possibilities per platform

As mentioned earlier, most social media platforms offer a text alternative. But this is not the only thing the platforms offer. So take a look at what is possible per platform to make content more accessible. Scribit.Pro has developed its own video player to make videos accessible. This video player meets the accessibility requirements of WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). You can choose to enable audio description using the 'AD' button. If you choose the 'CC' button, the subtitles will appear on the screen. Below the video there is the option to expand a transcript. Here the complete information from the video can be read in text form or read aloud.

There are also various options available on other platforms. For example, Twitter works with the function to disable sounds, because this can be experienced as annoying. On TikTok, users get warnings in videos if videos contain flashes, which some people are hypersensitive to. There is also the option to disable videos with flash. You can have subtitles automatically created on various platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. By delving into the possibilities of accessibility on social media, the content is taken to a higher level and its reach can grow considerably.

Start today
Use the Scribit.Pro video player

Sign up to our newsletter