Instagram brings automatic captions to videos in your feed

The social network is catching up with TikTok on a key feature.


Instagram's fierce competition with TikTok is bearing more fruit. The social network is matching its rival by introducing automatic captions (which TikTok has had since last April) to videos in your feed. They'll be enabled by default for creators, too. Auto-generated captions will initially be available in "select" languages, but Instagram hopes to expand them to more languages and countries.

The AI behind the captions won't be flawless. Instagram expects the quality to "continue to improve" as the AI learns, however.

The addition should improve accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing users, who'll have more choices for spoken-word video. Producers won't have to manually add captions themselves. However, Instagram also noted that this should help people who simply prefer to watch video with the sound off. You won't have to toggle the volume (and startle others in the process) just to understand what someone is saying.

In that regard, automatic captions might change your Instagram habits. You might be more likely to watch a video right away instead of scrolling past or saving it for later. That's good news for Instagram's viewing stats, of course, but it could also help aspiring social media stars build their audiences.