Instagram audience is very diverse. Among 1 billion monthly active users of Instagram, there's a certain percentage of visually-impaired or hard-of-hearing people who also want to consume content without limitations. The platform understands that, this is why it's rolling out features that allow you to make your content more accessible.
Here's a crash course on how to create a more positive experience for your audience on Instagram.
Captions Sticker for Stories & Reels
Do you know that Instagram allows to add captions sticker to your Reels and stories? Well, you can! Next time you record your video in the Reels or story editor, head over to Sticker tray and choose cc Captions.
When you do so and add the sticker to your video, captions will be automatically transcribed, displaying everything you say in the clip. You're free to edit them before publication and get rid of any mistake you'll find.
New feature 📣— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) May 4, 2021
Now you can add a captions sticker to Stories that automatically turns what you say into text.
"Sound off" is a request we get a lot so I'm excited that it’s coming to Reels too. We also hope to expand beyond a handful of countries soon. pic.twitter.com/4eMczUoj4x
To date, the feature isn't available to any Instagram account, but the platform will gradually adapt it soon.
In the meantime, you can use other ways to add captions.
1) Manually add text overlays on Instagram using the Text icon in the Instagram stories.
2) Use third-party apps, such as Clipomatic, InShot, or CaptionMax to generate captions for your Instagram stories.
💡Suggested read: Best Instagram Apps to Create Smashing Visuals in 2022
Alt Text for Images
This is one of the oldest and the most well-known features that allow you make your Instagram content more accessible.
This function was initially designed to allow visually impaired people to enjoy Instagram content. Marketers now use it for the Instagram account optimisation.
There are two types of Alt text on Instagram: Automatic Alternative Text (Instagram automatically generates alternative text for screen readers using object recognition technology) and Custom Alternative Text (you can add more descriptions and context to your images).
To find this tool, scroll down the screen on the page with a caption while posting your new content.
- At the bottom of the page, you’ll see Advanced Settings.
- Press it and head over to the bottom of the page until you see Write Alt Text.
- Tap this button and create a description of what’s in your image.
Next time, when somebody looks similar content, they will get your post in the results.
Translations in Instagram Feed, Profile, and Stories
If your Instagram audience is global (you can find out your audience's geo in Instagram Insights if you have a Business or Creator account), the Translations feature allows users for whom the language in your captions is foreign to understand what you have to say.
💡Schedule Instagram posts and stories to be automatically published on Instagram with Combin Scheduler, a free Insta content planner. Along with this, you can create captions in different languages and fonts right in the application, add a link in bio, hashtags, tag other users, and plan the media to appear on Instagram right on time.
How to Add the Translation Option on Instagram
There's nothing you have to do – Instagram generates the translations automatically.
Users can read your texts' translation by pressing the See Translation button.
Captions and comments in posts in feed, as well as the bio that you include on your profile, are translated automatically based on the language they're written in and the language settings of the person viewing it. If your language is available as a translation, you can tap See translation below the text to see it.
Capitalise Each Word in Instagram Hashtags
Hashtags help you have your content discovered on Instagram. And here's how you can increase your discoverability with this simple hack.
When you capitalise each word of your hashtags, you help accessibility screen readers read out your tags correctly.
Auto-Generated Captions for Instagram Videos
You know that IGTV is no longer available on Instagram; now feed videos and former IGTV videos are merged into Instagram Videos. And just like you could with the IGTV, you can add auto-generated captions to Instagram Videos.
Instagram says that 1/3 of all videos on the platform are played with sound off, so not only to increase your videos' engagement but to make them more accessible, leverage the auto-generated captions.
Instagram automatically generates captions to your videos in 17 languages.
You can enable this in Settings > Accessibility > Captions.
💡This feature isn't available for all accounts as of yet.
'Who Can Use' Checker
Try a free Who Can Use checker to ensure your Instagram grid's colour palette is comfortable to see and read.
⚡️Tip: You can plan your Instagram grid in Combin Scheduler, a free Instagram planning tool. Simply bulk upload several posts in to the app and see how they will look together by dragging them.
Auto-Generated Captions for Instagram Reels
Now, when a creator uploads an Instagram Reel, the platform will generate captions that will be automatically turned on.
For creators: If you want to turn them off, go to Advanced Settings in the upload flow and toggle the Captions off. This will disable automatic captioning not only on this particular video but on upcoming clips as well.
For viewers: You can tap on the overflow menu and select Manage Captions to turn them off or on.
As you can see, Instagram strives to make the platform as accessible as possible for visually-impaired people as well as deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. And you should do, too. Hopefully, with these tips, you will improve the content consumption experience for these audiences.