To be accessible to all, Instagram continues its efforts. It is developing automatic subtitling to allow hearing-impaired people to benefit from the social network in the same way as other users.
To become more inclusive, the application Instagram continues to develop new tools. In a press release, the Facebook subsidiary announces the imminent arrival of a new feature that will allow stories to be automatically captioned. In the sticker tab, which currently allows you to project the lyrics of a song for example, users will be able to find the transcription of their video. The goal is obviously to allow deaf or hard of hearing people to enjoy the content on the platform, just like other users. This is also very practical for users who watch stories without sound, when they are in public transport for example. Initially, the tool will be offered in English in English-speaking countries before being exported internationally in the coming months. “We are starting with a handful of countries and hope to develop it more widely soon”.
Sound off 🗣
…with sound off 🔇
Now you can add a captions sticker in Stories (coming soon to Reels) that automatically turns what you say into text.
We’re starting in a handful of countries and hope to expand soon. pic.twitter.com/OAJjmFcx4R
– Instagram (@instagram) May 4, 2021
The automatic subtitling will be offered in the sticker tab and can be modified. This will allow correcting the shot when the tool has not understood a word, for example, or to add punctuation if necessary. It must be said that audio transcription is rarely infallible. It is still a great step forward for the social network, which has made accessibility its spearhead. In 2018, the platform launched two new improvements for people with visual impairments. The first allows users to get the description of an image through their screen reader. Automatic alt texts use object recognition technology. It had also launched a tool so that users could add alt text themselves and thus detail images for their community.
It is not the only one to take this route, as many services offer more and more tools that can transcribe audio for people with hearing loss. This is the case of Zoom, Microsoft Teams or even Google Meet who have added subtitling to their video conferences.