Instagram has been rolling out feature after new feature, be it to help make the platform more interactive, or to prevent hate speech. Another new feature, fresh out of the oven, provides users with the option to add captions to their videos. The option is being rolled out for the Stories and Reels sections, and will first be made available for the former. After a short while, Reels will also be equipped with the feature.
The perk with this new offering will be that it will add a new “Captions Sticker” to the Stories and Reels, and will allow users to go through the Stories on their Feed without having to turn the sound on. They will be able to see the words that make up the video’s sound, in the form of a caption. This seems to be a cool new addition for users who are unable to turn on the sound due to any reason, or have a hearing problem.
While it does seem exciting, non-English speaking users, and users in non-English speaking countries will have to wait to try out the new feature. For now, it will only be available in the English language in select countries, but other languages will be introduced in the future, and access will be extended to other countries as well.
This is not the first time that the Captions Sticker has been in the news. It had first been revealed last year, in a package of sorts, along with other stickers, including the Link Sticker, Collab Sticker and Reshare Sticker, before going into beta with a select few Instagram users. Even parent Facebook seems to be gearing up to launch its own Captions Sticker.
As for how the feature will work, it is quite simple. Users will first have to record a video to be posted onto Stories or Reels (or, alternately, will have to choose a video from their camera roll or gallery). Then, clicking on the brand new “Captions” sticker in the Stickers bar will allow Instagram to convert the sound or audio from the video, into readable text.
This new product seems to be a competitor of sorts for the new Captions feature that was rolled out by TikTok recently, better known as Auto-Captions, though the two features have some fundamental differences. The feature with TikTok directly translates the audio or sound from the video into text in either Japanese or American English (as set by users). This feature can be controlled by users, who have the option of switching the captions on or off. The text however, is not customizable.
Instagram had also been rumoured to launch a feature to allow users to view its Stories in a vertical format, sort of akin to TikTok, rather than the conventional horizontal one that’s available as of now. The move hasn’t come to fruition till now. Recently, the platform made it possible for users to hide the ‘likes’ count on their posts.