Instagram has introduced auto-generated captions for videos in an effort to make the app a more accessible and inclusive environment.
The new feature is not only crucial for millions of deaf or hard-of-hearing users across the globe, but also makes the video viewing experience more enjoyable for those who prefer to watch videos on mute or in situations where headphones may not be accessible. .
The new feature will also save a lot of time for creators: as the name suggests, captions will be automatically generated as a video gets uploaded, which is a break-away from the current practice of manually adding captions to videos. Users have the ability to turn them on or off.
Adding auto-generated captions is an obvious move for Instagram, who have been constantly updating features to compete with TikTok. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, shared the new feature announcement on Twitter, acknowledging that the captions have been “a long time coming”, with TikTok rolling out auto-generated captions last April. Being fierce competitors, adding this new feature is critical for Instagram in order to compete and keep up with Tiktok, as well as drive engagement on the app.
It’s a long time coming, but we’re excited to share a new tool that empowers those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
Videos on Instagram will now have auto-generated captions, where you have the option to turn them off or on. pic.twitter.com/DNyzcdiPSU
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) March 1, 2022
The auto-generated captions are available in 17 languages, with more to come in the future. Currently users can choose from English, Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Italian, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese languages. Auto-generated captions are crucial to help understand the content for users who are watching videos in their second language, thus increasing viewership, dwell time, and social reach.
Because video content continues to dominate the internet in 2022, accounting for more than 82% of all Internet traffic, it’s crucial for creators to make their video content as accessible as possible. According to a recent Verizon Media and Publicis Media study, 69 percent of people view videos with the sound off in public places., with 25 percent of them still watching videos on mute even when they’re in private. This research also shows that as much as 80 percent of people who watch videos on mute and with captions do not have a hearing impairment.
Powered by AI and machine learning, auto-generated captions not only save content creators time and effort, but are also an effective way to help users better understand content, thus potentially boosting reach and engagement metrics for creators.
With the process of captioning becoming seamless and simple to use for creators, we highly encourage everyone, from brands to creators, to consider enabling the new feature to make their content more accessible for users with hearing impairments or for those who prefer to scroll through their IG feed with their phones on silent.
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