Instagram now has a Stories caption sticker, which automatically transcribes speech in videos. The sticker is only available in “English and English speaking countries” for now, but will eventually be rolled out to other languages and countries. Instagram says it will soon start testing automated captioning in Reels as well.
Subtitles are available in IGTV and the Threads app, and Instagram says it is adding them to Stories and Reels to make them more efficient and inclusive to watch. The feature should be a welcome addition for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, not native English speakers or simply watching videos without sound.
Like other text options in Stories, users can customize the style and color of the captions after they have been generated. People can also edit individual words in the captions to correct spelling, punctuation, or words that have not been accurately transcribed. Automatic captions are rarely perfectly accurate, especially for those with accents or atypical speech, so editing is crucial. There is currently no option to highlight the text for better visual contrast, but you can use the drawing tool or a sticker behind the captions to make them more visible.
Other platforms and services have recently added or improved auto-caption options. Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams all provide automatic captioning for video calls. Google expanded its Live Caption feature in the Chrome browser in March, and TikTok launched auto-captioning for US English and Japanese last month. Twitter announced on Monday that it is planning improvements to the subtitles it provides in Spaces.