Twitter is learning a hard lesson on the importance of accessibility. After releasing on Wednesday new designs that were meant to make the platform more accessible, the micro-blogging website said it was “listening and iterating” its design based on feedback from users.
No one said change was easy, but for Twitter users, the adjustments felt like they’ve been listening to construction work for days on end.
Users reported eye strain, headaches, and migraines due to the recent changes which showcase higher visual contrast of colors, button, and links. Others took issue with Twitter’s newest uniquely crafted font “Chirp.”
The company proudly shared the creation of Chirp on Wednesday, boasting about its amplification in making a tweet more fun and accessible. However, users disagree, as it was shown to be a burden for many.
One user said he could not work with the Chirp font at all and didn’t know what other solutions to implement after his phone updates the app with the new design. Others noted that they suffer from medical conditions that does not allow them to read Twitter anymore without feeling their blood rush to their temples.
“The new typeface worsens my astigmatism. I cannot read without having a headache. My systems typeface is tailored for my eyesight,” One twitter user replied to the site’s official account.
In response, Twitter published a statement reassuring users that issues with the new font have been pinned down, as the company is currently working on finding an alternative solution.
The social networking company managed to shed light on a vital issue in the tech industry; accessibility is different for everyone.
Alex Haagaard, co-founder of the Disabled List, an organization dedicated to offering handicapped individuals a platform to indulge in tech, highlighted Twitter’s new design changes as an example of what happens when you limit choices for the user.
“This is a great example of how some access needs routinely get centered over others within ‘accessible’ processes!” Haagaard said. “High contrast is notoriously NOT accessible for many photosensitive & chronically pained folks.”
The solution may be less complicated than we might believe. TechCrunch states that experts highly advise customization as an option for social networking platform, i.e., allowing users to change the contrast and font to suit their needs.
While Twitter employees can itch their heads all day long over the negative response, the fact remains that accessibility isn’t a one-size fits all. However, it’s never too late to turn back.
Twitter’s quick response insinuates that users won’t be left to deal with the new changes for much longer.
Google illustrations has just upped the tech giant’s game
If you’re not keen on placing your personal picture on your Google profile, or even if you find it difficult to find a picture that represents who you are, the search giant just found the perfect solution for you.
Google has recently published a number of images under the name Google Illustrations, providing a wide variety of pictures representing animals, technology, and even space figures.
“The new library of illustrations indicates that Google is taking a different approach from avatars like Snap’s Bitmoji or Microsoft’s Xbox avatars, which can let you make stylized representations of what you look like,” explained The Verge.
Instead, Google illustrations offer different categories of objects and places to use for your avatar.
Before your serotonin levels spike up, you should note that the illustrations are only available for Android users, according to Google. However, the tech giant is currently “working on” providing the illustrations to iOS users.
The collection of illustrations available will also witness an expansion soon. In case none of the available avatars suit your liking, check back when Google welcomes more images.
Brave launches a non-tracking video call feature
Brave Software, a privacy and security-based software firm is welcoming a video conference feature under the name “Brave Talk’, emphasizing a privacy-conscious video chat option embedded into its own browser.
Through clicking on the camera icon or by visiting the page talk.brave.com, users of the Brave browser can enjoy a non-tracking video call option and even invite participants who do not have the particular browser built in their devices.
Brave, which is one of the Chromium-based browsers competing to become an alternative window to the web, is now vying to join the video conferencing space next to platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft teams. However, unlike other video calling apps, Brave is placing privacy as the number one priority.
Founded in 2016, the company prides itself with its privacy-conscious tools. The new non-tracking video call feature uses an open-source called ‘Jitsi as a Service.” Given that the source can be used directly in Brave, users won’t have to install any apps or software that can potentially compromise their devices.
This is the main differentiator between Brave and platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Skype, who all have the power to monitor your calls.
“Brave Talk users can enable multiple layers of encryption on calls, so an eavesdropper cannot listen in on users’ calls, and our servers don’t save metadata, so calls, images, and activities are never recorded or shared without user consent.” The company explained according to ZDNet.
The Brave Talk feature is offered free of charge for one-on-one video conferences.
The new option also includes video group watch, livestreaming directly from YouTube, and unlimited call times.
However, a paid version does exist, allowing for even more benefits such as team calls with three or more users, having the ability to record calls, mute other users and enter a passcode to join a video call.
The paid version costs $7 a month for all international users, but the Chromium browser-based Brave has plans to launch the free version of Brave Talk for all Android and iOS users.
NBCU Warns YouTube TV Subscribers Could Be Blacked Out
YouTube said it has been unable to so far reach a new carriage agreement with NBCUniversal. The current contract expires on 30 September. If no new deal is struck by then, NBCUniversal content, such as Sunday Night Football, Jimmy Fallon or Law and Order SVU, will no longer be carried by Youtube TV.
NBCUniversal is warning YouTube TV subscribers that they are in danger of losing 14 channels from their streaming lineup if Google and NBCUniversal are unable to come to an agreement on carriage agreement terms.
If you are a YouTube TV subscriber, you may lose NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Golf Channel, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, Universal Kids, Universo, and USA Network.
Google said that if it gets equitable terms, it will renew its agreement with NBCU. Otherwise, subscribers will get a discount for the duration of a blackout, which could begin Thursday.
“If we are unable to reach a deal by Thursday, the NBCU lineup of channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV and we will decrease our monthly price by $10, from $64.99 to $54.99 (while this content remains off our platform),” Google said.
It added: “You can sign up for NBC’s own direct-to-consumer streaming service, Peacock, which they offer for $4.99/month to continue watching NBCU content, such as Sunday Night Football.”
In a statement, NBCU said it is seeking fair rates from Google for YouTube TV.
“Unfortunately, Google is refusing to make a deal at these fair rates and is willing to withhold entertainment, news and sports programming from their paying customers,” NBCU said.
“NBCUniversal feels a responsibility to inform our fans that they are at risk of losing their favorite shows if Google continues with their demands.”
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