Instagram Adds Automated Speech-to-Text Video Captions in 17 Languages
Instagram has added automated captions to videos on its Feed. The feature is on by default as a way of improving accessibility to the social media app.
People watching videos on Instagram will see the AI-generated captions appear on the videos as they scroll. The idea is that deaf people or those with impaired hearing won’t be left out of engaging with the video. It’s also useful for those who are scrolling without their sound on. The automatic captioning is certainly a lot faster than trying to manually add captions or transcribing the audio into the text underneath the post. The captioning is not in English either. Instagram will turn speech in 17 languages into text. The
“Captions are default ON for creators — adding captions makes Instagram more accessible to those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities🧏🦻,” Instagram explained in a post about the new tool. “Viewers will have the option to turn captions on (or off). To start, captions are available in 17 languages (with more to come).”
There’s been a recent push for automated captioning in technology as a means of improving accessibility. Snapchat videos just added the option to its app courtesy of SoundHound’s Houndify voice engine, while Twitter incorporated automatic captions in its voice tweets last summer, and YouTube started offering automated captions for livestreaming in October. Google even made live captioning a part of the Chrome Browser. Instagram, a Meta brand, is keen not to be left behind in trends like this, which is why it also started exploring social audio options as they exploded in popularity over the last couple of years. The same goes for accessibility. The video feed captions are arriving two years after Instagram added automatic captions to IGTV and a year after auto-caption stickers were incorporated into Instagram Stories.