“Automatic alternative text,” a tool that aims to assist blind and visually impaired users in “seeing” the subject of any given photo, has arrived on Facebook. The new feature rolled out in early April, and can be accessed by an individual by turning on the VoiceOver function on their Apple devices.
Prior to this update, people were able to use classic screen readers, software that allows blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on a computer screen with a speech synthesizer. However, screen readers were unable to provide information regarding Facebook’s images outside of the post copy and any tagged users. With the platform’s powerful new object recognition technology, it will be able to recognize an image subject and audibly report it back to the user.
Facebook claims the technology is able to “identify at least one concept with 80% accuracy in more than half the photos it analyses.” Like most of Facebook’s new features, the company aims to build and grow the feature to a higher accuracy rate in the future.
Facebook’s implementation of the technology has garnered positive social media buzz and press, with many individuals grateful to Facebook for the change.
Will anyone you know be affected by this change? Let us know in the comments below!