New Feature Alert: Instagram Adds Automatic Captions


Instagram has recently announced that it will offer Automatic generated Captions for Stories. Not only is this an essential and powerful tool for users with hearing disabilities, it means that everyone will be able to enhance the impact and reach of their video content.

As our CEO Remco put it, “One of the main reasons this feature matters is because a large portion of users, upwards of 60 percent, do not listen to the sound of a story, but simply read it. This is probably due to the fact that they use IG (or YouTube for that matter) when they are on the go, without headphones, or at work ;-).”

As you can see in a video shared by social media consultant Matt Navarra, the auto-captioning hasn’t quite been perfected—but it is getting pretty close!


The Basics of Instagram Automatic Captions

When you create a story, you’ll be able to find an option to add a caption sticker. This sticker acts as an anchoring point for your captions and gives you the choice of presenting your message in different styles and fonts. You determine the aesthetics, and Instagram takes care of the rest.


The Benefits

There are several ways that automatic captions can help you reach more users.


Stronger storytelling

Our brains are already trained to pay attention to captions— think of the news ticker running across the bottom of the TV screen. Similarly, through a combination of text and visual cues, Stories will now have more engagement power. Not to mention, the large proportion of users who don’t use sound won’t miss out on the full message. As a company, this means that any video content you create for Instagram will naturally engage a wider swath of your target audience and bolster your marketing efforts.


Visible Calls to Action

Likewise, you can utilize the textual cues to let the viewer know what they should do next. Using CTAs, or Calls to Action, is a powerful way to communicate with users and encourage them to further interact with your content, and ultimately your product.


Enhanced accessibility

Auto captions are also a huge win for the hearing-impaired community and mark a significant step in demonstrating how companies like Instagram are taking accessibility seriously. Once it is perfected, a built-in auto caption tool could also translate the text, making content available to users in a variety of languages.


Timely delivery

You’ll note that in the video of Navarra’s Story, the auto caption wasn’t wholly accurate, mistaking “finally” for “find.” However, manually transcribing a piece of content is time consuming. Many users will likely find that minor errors are a small price to pay for being able to share captioned content instantaneously.


The Availability

Engadget reported that according to Instagram, the feature is not widely available yet. In a statement sent to the publication, a spokesperson said: “We’re always exploring ways for people to better express themselves in Stories. This feature is not publicly testing at the moment.”

We will keep you updated as Instagram looks towards announcing an official rollout plan for automatic captions. Until then—you can still caption your video content using third-party software. One of the tools we use at GANDT is Loom.

Loom is a video and screen capture software that allows us to create short tutorials quickly, and it automatically transcribes all content. Again, the feature is not without its limitations, but it provides a foundation to work with. Alternatively, MixCaptions, Subtitles, and Captions are a few user-friendly apps that provide a way to ensure your message gets across!


Why It Matters to Us

We’re excited about seeing how this feature can improve the way we all do business. We’re always looking out for ways you can leverage your company’s social media presence to reach more users. If you want to stay up to date on current social media trends and growth marketing hacks, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest digital marketing news.

Simply book a free appointment to continue the conversation, and ask us questions about your business.