Instagram to describe photos using object recognition technology for visually impaired

Facebook-owned Instagram has rolled out quite a new features recently to enhance the experience of its users. But, those are for users who are lucky enough to be able to see with both the eyes properly. However, the latest features that have been announced by Instagram are aimed at making the app easier to use for those with visual impairments.


Instagram has announced two new features – automatic alternative text and custom alternative text – to make the app more accessible for users with visual impairments. With automatic alternative text, users will be able to hear descriptions of photos through their screen reader when scrolling through the Feed, Explore, or Profile page.

This feature makes use of object recognition technology to identify what’s in a photo, and then generate a description of it for the screen reader to be read out aloud.


The other feature is the custom alternative text. As the name suggests, this feature lets you add a custom alternative text to your photo to describe what it is. This custom alternative text will then be read out aloud by the screen reader when a user comes across the photo.

You can add a custom alternative text to your photo by tapping on the photo’s “Advanced Settings” option and then tapping on “Write Alt Text”. However, do note that Instagram doesn’t allow more than 99 characters in alternative text.

We are introducing two new improvements to make it easier for people with visual impairments to use Instagram. With more than 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments, we know there are many people who could benefit from a more accessible Instagram,” said Instagram in a blog post.