Advancing Accessibility on Instagram

May 19, 2022

We are responsible for ensuring Instagram is not only available but also accessible to everyone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 2.2 billion people live with vision impairments and over 430 million people live with hearing loss. To better meet the needs of these and other disability communities, Instagram includes support for a variety of accessibility features built into iOS and Android, and we have developed and refined our own in-app accessibility features.

Today, we’re providing more information about all of Instagram’s accessibility features through Instagram operated accounts like @creators. In @creators’ latest post, we explain the importance of using accessibility features, from alt-text to auto-generated captions, to create a more positive experience for your audience.

For years, Instagram has offered existing features such as dark mode and screen reader improvements. Additionally, we improved our automatic and custom alternative text options for people with vision impairments. If you’re interested in how we’re working to make Instagram more accessible for screen readers, check out our blog post called Crafting an Accessible Instagram Feed.

Additionally, we improved our automatic and custom alternative text options for people with vision impairments. First, we launched automatic alternative text; this feature uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers. Then, we introduced custom alternative text, giving creators the ability to add their own image descriptions before posting. However, this alone is not enough.

We’ve also started rolling out numerous closed caption features to enrich the Instagram experience for our Deaf and hard of hearing communities. Currently, ⅓ of video plays on Instagram are with the sound off, so closed captioning is one way to improve both the experience for and engagement-retention of all users.

Here are 3 other ways we support the more expansive use of captions:

  • Auto-generated captions for Instagram Video: In March 2022, we made auto-generated captions the default for creators. When uploading a video, captions will be created automatically and remain on unless manually turned off. When viewing a video, you can tap the three dots (•••) in the upper right corner and select “Manage captions” to toggle captions on and off.
    Auto-generated captions are supported globally on Android and iOS in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese. We’ll continue building out this tool in the coming months, and will provide updates as we do.
  • Captions sticker on Stories: We announced the Captions Sticker in May 2021. When creating a video on Stories, go to the sticker tray, select Captions and then rewatch your video to view the auto-generated text. If you want to change something, tap the word (or words) and edit the text.
  • Captions sticker on Reels: When we launched the Captions Sticker for Stories, we shared our plans to bring the sticker to Reels too, which we did, just a few months later in July 2021. This sticker works the exact same way in Reels as it does in Stories, automatically converting audio to text.

In addition to these features, we’re encouraging creators to think about how to use our products to promote and expand accessibility. For example, in March 2021 we launched Live Rooms, giving creators the option of going live with up to 3 additional people. Since its release, creators have used Live Rooms to include American Sign Language interpreters in public meetings like press briefings and constituent Q&As.

This is just the start. We believe everyone deserves equitable access to the tools necessary to be effective and efficient communicators on Instagram.

Download our Accessibility One-Pager for additional tips on creating accessible content or visit for general best practices resources.


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