Accessibility of Facebook

Published April 25, 2024

Digital accessibility ensures that individuals with disabilities can access and interact with online content. Regarding social media platforms like Facebook, implementing accessibility features is crucial for creating an inclusive online environment.

Facebook, a social media site, has 3.03 billion monthly users worldwide. It is the largest social media platform globally and has expanded into owning other social media platforms, such as Instagram. With so many users, it’s clear that many people with disabilities use Facebook—after all, 1 in 6 people worldwide have some kind of disability. So, what does Facebook do for accessibility?

Let’s examine Facebook and see what it does well, what it could improve on, and where it stands compared to other social media sites.

What Facebook does well

Facebook allows for alternative text, or alt text, to be included in all photos posted on individual pages. Alt text is a substitute for images for people with visual disabilities who use screen readers. It reads a description of the image, so no content is missed on the page. It also helps if an image doesn’t load. To add alt text, a user must click “edit photo,” then “change alt text.” This will allow them to edit the machine-generated alt text Facebook provides. 

Facebook has a feature that allows users to generate captions for any videos posted on the site. The captions are automatic, but users can edit them if the automatic captions are incorrect in any way. Captions on videos are important for people with hearing disabilities — they allow for full enjoyment of videos by providing a transcription of audio content from the videos. Captions must be complete and accurate, so editing is an important feature in case of inaccuracies in automatic captions. 

Recently, Facebook rolled out accessibility updates that included scalable font sizes and screen reader announcements. Scalable font sizes improve the readability of a site for people with vision disabilities by allowing them to change the font size to their liking. The screen reader will announce when an action has been completed, such as posting a status or sending a message.

What Facebook can improve on

Facebook is constantly innovating with its accessibility features. They have long stated that their work is never finished for accessibility and have sought help from the public in many ways for feedback. However, this doesn’t mean that Facebook is without flaws. 

Though Facebook is keyboard navigable, Facebook only recently added a “Skip to News Feed” link for people using keyboard navigation. Keyboard navigation is important for people with visual or physical disabilities that make using a mouse difficult or impossible. Without a way to skip to their news feed, people relying on keyboard navigation would have to go through many steps before they got to their news feed. Facebook could refine its keyboard navigation to ensure they’re not missing other skip links to make keyboard navigation easier. 

Facebook could also refine its automated alt text. Although all alt text is good, automated alt text carries with it some issues that human eyes can fix, and improving what the automated alt text comes up with can enhance the accessibility of the alt text available on the site for users who choose not to edit the alt text already available. 

Facebook’s overall score

Ultimately, Facebook is one of the most accessible social media sites. Compared to sister site Instagram, whose accessibility is based on each user rather than the site, Facebook comes out on top. X, formerly known as Twitter, does have some similar accessibility features, but it doesn’t have as many as Facebook, and its site support falls short of Facebook’s overall. 

Facebook can be used as a model for accessibility in social media. From the features it has to the efforts the staff makes to improve continually, Facebook is the most popular social media site for a reason, and one of those reasons is its accessibility. 


Facebook has taken significant steps to improve its digital accessibility. The social media giant is working towards creating a more inclusive online environment by incorporating features such as alt text for images and keyboard navigation. Content creators can further contribute to this effort by following best practices for creating accessible content on the platform.

By prioritizing digital accessibility, Facebook and its users can ensure that individuals of all abilities can fully participate in the social media experience.


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