A more recent trend with content creators is to use alternative characters from external sites to make their copy appear in different styles, weights, and fonts. In the example to the left, the portion of the caption that reads Rich Nude Obsessions looks like it's in a different typeface than the rest of the copy because an alternative character set was used.
While this trend does add a unique aesthetic flair to your content, it also slows down the content creation process because it requires an external site. More importantly, it's not an accessible practice.
Not all screen readers can identify and translate alternative characters and will skip right them instead. Even worse are the alternative character sets that are translated into indistinguishable noises by screen readers. See the below video for a demonstration of both scenarios.
Using alternative characters can also negatively impact the engagement and searchability of your content if a platform doesn’t recognize them as readable characters.
In my test tweet in the left half of the below image, I used five different alternative character sets to write the word “lackadaisical” five times. When I did an advanced search on Twitter a few minutes later that specifically combed my account for the word lackadaisical, Twitter was unable to locate my test tweet even though it was at the very top of my profile’s feed.
Content creators should only use the default fonts and formatting options readily available on the platforms.