Instagram Adds Captions Sticker to Stories

What to know about the long-overdue accessibility feature

Captions for your Instagram story videos have finally arrived! Sort of.

Industry leader Matt Navarra gave a sneak preview of the new captions sticker for Instagram stories via his Twitter account, and I, of course, had to go try the feature out immediately.

At first glance, the tool works pretty well. The captions take very little time to generate, you can easily edit the captions by tapping them, and there are four different formatting options to choose from. However, none of those formatting styles has a background option for your captions and you can only change the text color, so your captions may run into readability issues depending on what your background ends up being.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind with this new captions sticker:

  • This tool is very new and may not be available to everyone yet. Android users and some iOS users have reported that they cannot find the captions sticker in the sticker menu even after searching for it.
  • When I posted my story with the captions sticker on it, the story was marked as “internal only” in the upper left corner, got no views, and then disappeared from my story a few minutes later. It is very possible that the captions sticker was turned on for the public by mistake.
  • In order to get around the “internal only” issue, I recorded my video, used the captions sticker, downloaded the final video, and then re-uploaded it to my story. Instagram didn’t seem to register that I had used the captions sticker then.
  • This feature, as far as I can tell, is only for your Instagram story. I couldn’t find anything similar for Reels, and, of course, IGTV already has an auto-captioning option. I’m also not sure if you’ll be able to use it with IG Live.
  • When I tried to use my screen reader on the captions of one of my stories that was created directly within the story feature and not a re-uploaded video, it could not pick up on the captions that were generated through the captions sticker. This means that Instagram stories are still not accessible for deaf-blind users because their assistive devices would need readable text that they could transcribe.

Overall, I’m very excited about this feature and hope that Instagram releases it for everyone very soon. It would also be nice if a similar feature was made available for in-feed videos as well as Reels and IG Live. And, of course, alt text for stories is still at the top of my Instagram wish list.

After all, Twitter managed to figure it out for their Fleets feature, so I’m not sure why IG hasn’t done the same yet.

Award-winning Social Media Manager in Florida. Advocate for digital accessibility and inclusive content. Former Chicagoan.

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