Optimized ATT process: Facebook improves app experience for the visually impaired

The social platform shows efforts to become more inclusive and has given the automated alt-text process an update. In this way, even more images should be recognized by the screen reader.

Pictures, videos and texts – most social media platforms can only be comprehensively experienced through unimpaired vision. But so that people with visual impairments can also use Facebook better, the social platform has now optimized the ATT process (Automated Alt Text). The social media group announcedthat in the future more objects that can be seen in a photo can be recognized by Facebook technology. In addition, the ATT process has been improved so that Facebook can now determine the location of an object in the photo. The social media giant explains:

The latest iteration of AAT represents multiple technological advances that improve the photo experience for our users. First and foremost, we’ve expanded the number of concepts that AAT can reliably detect and identify in a photo by more than 10x, which in turn means fewer photos without a description. Descriptions are also more detailed, with the ability to identify activities, landmarks, types of animals, and so forth. […] And we’ve achieved an industry first by making it possible to include information about the positional location and relative size of elements in a photo.

Facebook introduced the technology for the ATT process back in 2016

The company carried out the ATT process so that people with impaired vision can also use the Facebook app already in 2016 a. Through machine learning, the technology recognizes objects in a posted photo and adds them to the alt text. Because many users post images and photos without manually adjusting the alternative text. Thanks to Facebook’s ATT process, screen readers can still make the content tangible for visually impaired users.

In order to adapt the new technology to the needs of the users, Facebook started a survey among users who depend on the screen reader. The platform explains:

We asked users […] how much information they wanted to hear and when they wanted to hear it. They wanted more information when an image is from friends or family, and less when it’s not. We designed the new AAT to provide a succinct description for all photos by default but offer an easy way to get more detailed descriptions about photos of specific interest.

In this way, users can simply choose which content should be displayed to them in how detailed. The new ATT process should not only be applicable to photos, but also to videos in the future.

© Facebook

No ad targeting with improved ATT tool

Facebook makes it clear on the company blog that the new ATT process cannot be used for ad targeting. The social group writes:

While we wish everyone who uploaded a photo would include an alt text description, we recognize that this often doesn’t happen. We built AAT to bridge this gap, and the impact it’s had on those who need it is immeasurable.

Nevertheless, the new technology could in future offer advertisers a multitude of options for better reaching their target group. Because the ATT process collects a lot of data about users in order to adapt to their needs and interests. This could play into the cards of marketers in terms of ad targeting in the future. Initially, however, the focus for Facebook is on making its own platform more inclusive.

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Source: OnlineMarketing.de by onlinemarketing.de.

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