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Instagram Adds Automatic Captions to Feed Videos

The feature is designed to make the Meta-owned app more accessible.

Instagram auto-captions
Instagram users will now see automatically generated captions on videos in their Feed.

Instagram on Tuesday said it's rolling out auto-generated captions for videos on its Feed. The feature will be on by default for creators. 

The Meta-owned company says the move will make the app more accessible for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, as well as benefit people who prefer watching videos without sound. 

"We've noticed that our community has implemented time-consuming and labor-intensive 'workarounds' (burning-in captions on videos, outsourcing captioning work) in an effort to make their content more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing viewers," Instagram spokeswoman Christine Pai wrote in an email to CNET. "Auto-generated captions on IG video will help people save time by spending less time captioning and more time creating amazing content."

The social network also notes that as more people use captions, the AI will learn and the quality will improve. The feature is currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, German, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Tagalog, Urdu, Malay, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese. Instagram says it's working on rolling out auto-captions in more languages in the coming months.

The photo-and-video-sharing site has been working to make its platform more accessible over the last few years, launching automatic captions for IGTV in late 2020 and adding an auto-caption sticker to Instagram Stories last year. It's one of many tech companies stepping up its accessibility efforts. In October, YouTube added a feature that lets all creators use auto captions for livestreams. And following backlash from disability advocates, Twitter finally turned on automated captions for voice tweets in July.