Instagram head Adam Mosseri said Tuesday the company is adding auto-generated captions to the videos in your feed. He acknowledged the captions have been “a long time coming” — rival TikTok introduced auto-captions last April — and said the captions will be on by default for creators on the platform.
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
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, creators had to manually add captions to their videos using time-consuming workarounds, but the change makes the process seamless and makes Instagram more accessible to hard-of-hearing and Deaf users or anyone who prefers watching videos with the sound off.
The captions will be available in “select languages” at launch, according to a news release from Instagram, and the company expects the quality of the captions will improve as more people use them and the AI learns — so the captions may not be perfect out of the gate. Instagram will expand the captions to more languages in the coming months.
How or whether the instant captions will change viewing habits or help boost Instagram engagement is still to be determined, but it’s possible that if people can watch Instagram videos without sound, they may stay on the app longer rather than navigating away from the app after saving videos to watch later.