When you’re lying in bed late at night trying to get to sleep by watching Instagram Stories but you don’t want to disturb someone else in the room, you probably have it on mute. It’s okay if the Stories are visual but what if there was audio that would make it better if you could actually hear it? Well, Instagram is now adding stickers to its Stories and soon to Reels that would generate an auto-caption for better accessibility for those that have hearing difficulties, for not native English speakers, and for situations like this.
Captions are actually already available on Instagram TV and Threads but now you’ll be able to add it to Stories and later on to Reels as well. You just have to add a captions sticker to your Stories before posting and it will automatically generate it. You can adjust the style and color of the captions and even edit the text if they get something wrong including spelling and punctuation before finally posting on Stories.
There doesn’t seem to be an option to highlight the captions like in the regular text but you can still use the draw tool or add a sticker behind the caption if you want a better visual contrast. But all in all, it seems to be a pretty good caption option for users. Having captions in Stories, Reels, IGTV, and Threads makes for a more inclusive Instagram experience for those that have hearing difficulties and for those that don’t consider English to be their native language.
Other similar platforms and services have also been adding auto-captions for more accessibility. Video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have automated captions for their video calls. Google has been expanding its Live Caption feature from YouTube to Chrome. Twitter said they’ll be bringing improvements to Spaces’ captioning as well. So all in all, it’s a pretty important tool to have if you’re in the social media video space.
Instagram Stories’ auto-caption sticker is now available in English and English-speaking countries at launch but will be expanding to other countries and languages soon. They will also start testing it out on Reels as well.