What is Facebook Automatic Alternative Text (AAT)?

what is facebook automated alternative text

What is Facebook Automatic Alternative Text? – In this article I write about Facebook automatic alternative text (AAT).

You will learn what an alt text is, what is Facebook automatic alternative text technology, why it’s important for your social media marketing and how to use it to your advantage.

If you want to learn more about alt text, make sure you also read these articles:

Alt Text: Definition

Alt text, also known as alt tag (alt stands for ‘alternative’) is the textual description of an image.

The main function of the alt text is to describe the vision to the Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI).

Generally this description is read aloud by screen reading software programmes.

A secondary function of the alt text is to describe images to search engines.

Alt text was heavily used in the early days of the World Wide Web (WWW).

Back when internet connections were slow, images took time to load. While waiting, users could understand what the images were about by reading the alt text.

What is Facebook Automatic Alternative Text (AAT)?

Facebook Automatic Alternative Text (AAT) is a technology to automatically add alt text to images posted on Facebook newsfeed.

The technology, which was developed in 2016 and won the Hellen Keller Achievement Award in 2018, uses object recognition to add description to photos.

What’s New in Facebook Automatic Alternative Text?

The new update to Facebook AAT brings a number of improvements, including:

  • 10x increase in the number of concept AAT can detect and understand
  • More detailed descriptions capable of identifying locations, type of animals, etc.
  • Information of the positional location of elements within a photo
  • Information about the relative size of elements within a photo

Why is It Important?

By being more accurate in identifying the content of a photo, Facebook (and Instagram) can better index and rank your media content under the appropriate category.

How to Edit Facebook Alt Text

To edit Facebook alt text for your photos:

  1. Select a photo of your choice and click on the three dots […] on the top right
  2. Click on Change Alt Text
  3. If you don’t like Facebook AAT, enter your custom alt text
  4. Click on Save


how to edit facebook alt text


how to edit facebook alt text

What is Facebook Automatic Alternative Text: Sources



Pasquale Mellone

Pasquale is Founder at Increasily.com, a H2H marketing agency based in Dublin, Ireland, and owner at print-on-demand ecommerce Mintycase.com. Pasquale has worked in Digital Marketing and Account Management since 2004. He currently lives in Dublin with his wife, stepdaughter and cat.