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How to add Closed Captions to Instagram Stories, Reels and More!

Learn how to add closed captions to your Instagram Stories, Reels and IGTV and pick up more tips on accessibility on Instagram.

Posted 1 year ago

Written by

Julia Cohen
Posted 1 year ago
As Instagram becomes more and more accessible, it continues to include features that allow creators to make their content more user-friendly – like adding closed captions to your content. This is a great way of not only making your videos even more relatable to an even wider audience, but it can also help with your discoverability and organic reach.

How to add Closed Captions to Instagram Stories, Reels and More!

If you’re an avid user of Instagram Stories, you probably create content that features some form of talking, whether it’s a voiceover, or you speaking directly to camera. And even if you talk A LOT, you don’t have to fret, because adding closed captions to your content doesn’t mean you have to type out every single word manually.

How to add closed captions to Instagram Stories 📕

Instagram actually has a feature on Stories which auto-generates closed captions based on the audio content of your video. From there, you can read through what the platform has auto-generated, and edit any words or phrases it may have missed or got wrong. Here’s how:
  1. Upload an Instagram Story which features talking audio.
  2. In the editor mode, swipe up to the section where you would usually find polls, stickers, location tags and hashtags.
  3. Select ‘captions’.
  4. Instagram will automatically transcribe the audio, which you can click to edit or change the colour and font of the text.
  5. Select done, resize the text how you’d like it, and you’re finished!
Instagram closed captions how to

How to add closed captions to Instagram Reels 📹

Instagram have placed a huge focus on Reels content, and most users are seeing this fast video format perform extremely well in comparison to other content on the platform. As Reels are also video-based, you may include voiceovers or direct talking from time to time, and Instagram have made it easy to add closed captions to the current favourite format of the moment:
  1. Upload or record a Reel, which features a voiceover or talking audio.
  2. When you’re happy with the video, click through to Preview Mode.
  3. Select the stickers option, and click on ‘captions.’
  4. From here, you can edit or change the automatically transcribed audio to fit your video.
  5. Select done, resize the text how you’d like it, and you’re finished!

…And what about IGTV videos? 📺

Adding closed captions to IGTV videos are equally, if not more important, since this type of content is over 1 minute long, and usually requires multiple audio cues. This is a slightly different process due to the length of the content:
  1. Upload your IGTV video, and select or upload a cover, then click ‘next’.
  2. In the section where you have the option to add a title and description, scroll down to ‘Advanced settings.’
  3. In Accessibility, select ‘show captions’.
  4. Click ‘done’ and the captions will automatically be added!
how to closed captions instagram
Quick note! 💡With IGTV, you don’t have the option to edit the auto-generated captions, and they may take a few minutes to appear on your video.

How to make your content more accessible 👀

As Instagram continues to make positive changes to its platform in order to increase accessibility for its users, it’s great as a content creator to be forward thinking, and start considering this in your own posts and videos. Here’s a few tips that are easy to implement for making your content a little more accessible and user friendly!
  1. Make sure any text you use is legible and readable. It’s all well and good including text and closed captions on your content, but you want to make sure your users can actually read it! Text should be large enough to view, and in a colour that stands out from the background, or against a solid background that contrasts with the text colour. For example, many people find it difficult to read red writing on a blue background, so to be safe you should try and pick contrasting colours like black and white that aren’t too bright.
  2. Add visual cues to your content. Aside from text, you can make your video content more fun to follow by adding visual cues like stickers, polls or images as well as sound effects.
  3. Add ‘alternative text’ to your posts. Alt text is displayed or transmitted when your image or video hasn’t loaded properly, or if someone is visually impaired. By adding accurate alt text that describes your image, you are not only helping users understand your content, but you are also helping Instagram understand the type of content you create. This has been said to help propel content towards more specific, targeted audiences, increasing discoverability and organic growth.
  4. Make any references, links or documents accessible. If you reference any content that isn’t your own, or useful links your followers may want to check out, you should consider making this information easy to locate, via a link in bio, or Linktree for example.
  5. Consider your use of emojis. Believe it or not, different emojis actually mean different things. For example, there are multiple emojis that showcase ‘cars’ but their text translation is very different and can have different connotations. For example:
🚗 = automobile
🚘 = oncoming automobile
Aside from learning how to add closed captions to Instagram Stories, Reels and more, we hope we’ve given you a little more food for thought on how you can optimize the way you create and publish content in order to make it more accessible. If you’d like to learn something new that we haven’t yet covered in our Instagram toolkit, send us a DM on Instagram! And, if you want to learn more tips and tricks that could help you increase your organic Instagram growth by 40%, check out our free Instagram hashtag guide by clicking the banner below.

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How to add Closed Captions to Instagram Stories, Reels and More!


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