Image versions have more padding, and that padding gives the puzzle an identity in a way. But it's also about sharing one's creation. By sharing the puzzle, even though you ask for feedback on your puzzle, the added flair and identity the puzzle is also seen by the solvers.
For the puzzle creator to add their own artsy touch to the puzzle is something that is made to get a bit more interest from the ones visiting the post. If the puzzle had been only the text transcript, it would not have been as appealing as its image version.
Because after the puzzle solving, it's also about theming, about appreciating the art. Puzzles that are in the forms of short stories are all about padding, yet they work well. That makes people able to create puzzles sometimes using the same exact solving mechanics, but that feel very different, one is in the form of a tree on an image, the other one might be a murder mystery...
Some puzzles also, would not work as well without their image versions (See this duo of puzzles). And even though they can, and have transcripts, and they could be solved without the image version, yet the image version brings a lot more to the puzzle.
There is also the case of emojis and Unicode characters, some browsers (and/or devices) have a hard time displaying some unicode characters, this would make an image version a lot more accurate, and important to the puzzle. Same for emojis, an example can be seen in flag emojis, this puzzle renders as intended by the creator on mobile, making some flag emojis near indistiguishable from others, on Windows though, it looks like a mess of country codes, making the puzzle near trivial. In puzzles like these, an image version is vastly superior to the text-only version. Because even though transcript are made for accessibility, sometimes images are the only way to make the puzzle accessible and visible the same way for everyone.
Overall benefits of images over text:
- Creativity and puzzle originality
- Accurately display the same information/puzzle for everyone, no matter the display
- Art, because appreciating art is as good as solving a good puzzle