Facebook and Instagram seemingly remove alt text character limitations

Ben Bayliss1 minute read

Instagram and Facebook both appear to have removed alternative text character limits for uploaded images.

Social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook both seem to have done away with a character limit for their custom alternative text field. As noticed earlier today by Can I Play That? co-founder, Courtney Craven, the original 100 character limit appears to have vanished and users can now add hundreds, if not thousands of characters to the entry field and the alt text remains saved.

When users upload an image to Instagram and Facebook, they’re given the option to add their own custom alt text to help blind and visually impaired users who use screen readers. Originally, there has been a character limit, but upon noticing this earlier, Can I Play That? began investigating. At one point we were able to paste an entire 2000+ word review into the field and save and publish the image.

There appears to be no official news post anywhere from Facebook or Instagram about the removal of alt text character limits. There is still the question that perhaps this could be just a bug and limitations will be reinstated, but if it is intentional, it’s lovely to see and will allow users to provide more context to their images. It does also mean that users will have to ensure they’re being sensible with writing their descriptions.

Additionally, it will be useful for those who share images with a lot of on-screen text and have to work around limitations. For example, sharing screenshots of articles, or sharing images of promotional posters.

Have you noticed this? Be sure to let us know on social media.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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