Monday, 7 October 2019

Accessibility: Captioning Your Instagram Story

poster with text 'caption Instagram Story' with black background, and pink and white brush strokes

If you're using Instagram Story and are not adding captions when you speak on there, why? Yes, it takes a bit more time. Yes, you have to watch your clips back a few times, but ultimately, Instagram, and all aspects of social media and the internet should be accessible to everyone.


Subtitles on Instagram Story may not be something you need but have you ever wondered how many of your followers are deaf or hearing impaired? And how much those people would benefit from engaging with your content? We all want to indulge on seeing how people live their lives; I mean, I know I do, I'm a nosy cow, and Instagram Stories are a perfect way of getting to know the person behind the beautifully curated feed.

But what if you couldn't do that? What if you followed someone, really admired them and couldn't access their content? It'd be shit, right?

I wrote a post a few months ago on adding image descriptions and alt text to the pictures you post online (you can read that here) and I think adding captions is just as important. Whenever you're uploading a video online (you better be doing it for YouTube), take a few extra minutes to subtitle them.

I understand that Instagram Stories are taken quickly and people want to upload them straight away, I get it, but think about everyone. Add those subtitles. If you don't have time, take your video, save them to upload later and then add your text.

There are also a few apps available that you can download which will add the text to your video but you still need to check that there are no spelling mistakes etc. 

I prefer writing the text myself as I know where to add my punctuation or if I want to capitalise anything. I also never paraphrase or cut down my captions; I find that unfair because people reading will want to know everything you've said, otherwise, what's the point? I do tend to leave out the multiple times I say 'erm' or 'like' though, there's definitely not enough space for me to include all of those.

Furthermore, I don't have a hearing impairment but even I find benefits from captions; it means I can watch the Story without the sound on and therefore can watch them anywhere without interrupting anyone around me. I have had so many people message me saying this, so that's another reason to do it.

Adding captions to your Story is simple and spreading awareness about it is really important. Definitely make it a priority so it'll become second nature. Make your content accessible to everyone.

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