The growth in popularity of social media has been unwavering over the years, but the platforms haven’t always catered to all audiences. Social media is deeply engrained in society and culture, but a lack of accessibility has proved challenging to many, often excluding minority groups from these online communities.
The platforms have been listening and are gradually making advancements to allow their services to be more inclusive. Key updates we’ve seen this year include:
- Automated Subtitles on Instagram Reels - Users can now easily add automated subtitles to their Instagram reels via the sticker function.
- TikTok Accessibility Overview – A guide created by TikTok as part of their commitment to maintaining an inclusive environment and supporting their diverse community, with a goal to encourage users to make TikTok accessible for all. The guide includes elements such as how to use a photosensitive epilepsy toggle and warning.
- LinkedIn Be My Eyes – LinkedIn have made the Be My Eyes service available, allowing members who are blind or visually impaired to communicate directly with a Disability Answer Desk agent via video call to receive support.
- Audio Tweets – Twitter users can record up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds of audio to share in a tweet.
Alongside these advancements, platforms continue to take steps towards becoming more inclusive, but there are still many who are unable to participate in the same way as others. These barriers are not limited to those behind-the-scenes social media platforms, but also the users sharing content. If users don’t apply these fundamental updates, the potential benefits will be lost.
To drive the application of such updates, a pivotal part of our campaigns includes sharing an ‘inclusive influence’ guide with each influencer we engage, reminding them of important elements such as alt text and using easily legible fonts. We also follow an accessibility guidance document when creating social media content.
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