Instagram now has a captions sticker for Stories, which will automatically transcribe speech in videos. The sticker will be available only in “English and English-speaking countries” for now but will eventually roll out to other languages and countries. Instagram says it will also start testing automated captions in Reels soon.
Captions have been available in IGTV and the Threads app, and Instagram says it’s adding them to Stories and Reels to make them more efficient and inclusive to watch. The feature should be a welcome addition for deaf or hard of hearing, are not native English speakers, or generally watch videos without sound.
Like other text options in Stories, users can adjust the style and color of the captions after they’re generated. People can also edit individual words in the captions to correct spelling, punctuation, or words that weren’t transcribed accurately. Auto captions rarely have perfect accuracy, especially for people with accents or atypical speech, so editing is crucial. There’s currently no option to have the text highlighted for better visual contrast, but you can use the Draw tool or a sticker behind the captions to make them easier to see.
Other platforms and services have recently added or improved auto-captioning options. Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams all offer automated captions for video calls. Google expanded its Live Caption feature across the Chrome browser in March, and TikTok launched automatic captions for American English and Japanese last month. Twitter announced Monday that it’s planning improvements for the captioning it offers in Spaces.