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How to Add Closed Captions to Instagram Stories

Instagram Tips & Resources

How to Add Closed Captions to Instagram Stories


By Jessica Worb

Updated on May 4, 2021

4 minute read

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s newest feature and how you can use it.

Published May 4, 2021

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

Instagram is rolling out a new accessibility feature that allows you to add captions, or subtitles, to Instagram Stories and soon, Instagram Reels.

With the captions sticker, brands and creators can work toward building a more inclusive experience for their community.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram’s newest feature and how you can use it for your business:

Banner reading How to Automatically Add Captions to Instagram Stories

How to Automatically Add Captions to Your Instagram Stories

Using Instagram’s new captions sticker is quite similar to using any other Instagram Stories sticker. Here’s how to add captions to your Instagram story:

Step #1: Head to the Instagram Stories or Reels camera and either record or upload a video from your camera roll.

Step #2: Once uploaded or recorded, tap the sticker icon.

A blue arrow points to the sticker icon in Instagram stories

Step #3: Select the “Captions” sticker.

A blue arrow points to the Captions sticker

Step #4: At this stage, you can choose from four different text formats, move the text around the screen, and change the color.

The blue arrow points to the different text styles available for Instagram story captions

And that’s it! Your captions should now be generated on your Instagram story.

Be sure to watch and read the captions before posting as Instagram may not accurately transcribe your audio. Currently, users are unable to edit the captions after the fact.

NOTE: The Instagram captions sticker is only available in English and English-speaking countries.

Don’t Have Access? Here Are Other Ways to Add Instagram Story Captions

If you don’t have access to the new captions sticker, no need to panic.

According to TechCrunch, Instagram is “rolling out the captions sticker first to Stories and will then begin testing it in Reels, with a broader launch to follow.”

Luckily, there are other ways to add captions in the meantime.

The first is to manually add text overlays in Instagram to summarize your key talking points:

A user manually adds text to their Instagram story to create a caption

Alternatively, you can use third-party apps to generate captions for your Instagram stories. The following apps are helpful resources:

To make Instagram Stories creation and planning easier, save time and schedule your Instagram Stories with Later.

It’s simple — upload your videos to the Later Media Library and select when you want them to go live on your profile.

Schedule Instagram stories in advance using the Laters Visual Planner

You’ll get a notification on your phone as soon as it’s time to post your stories, and  all of your links and text will be copied to your clipboard.

The best part? Since you’re manually uploading the stories, you can apply the captions sticker before it goes live to ensure you’re sharing accessible stories.

Start scheduling your Instagram Stories with Later today, available on all paid plans!

Why Instagram Stories and Reels Captions Are Important

Instagram Stories captions are easy-to-read subtitles for your videos, making it easier for your community to digest your content.

It’s been one of the most highly anticipated features on Instagram  — and for good reason!

As a brand, your Instagram content should be as inclusive as possible, and the new Instagram captions sticker helps with that.

Not only are Instagram video captions important for people who are watching without sound, but they’re essential for those with hearing difficulties. Especially since over 5% of the population — 466M people — have disabled hearing loss.

If a user is scrolling through Instagram Stories or Reels in a quiet public place without headphones, there’s a chance they may exit your video.

Thishouse5000 uses captions on their Instagram reel about plants

But, if that very same story had subtitles — it suddenly becomes easier for your audience to stop, watch, and understand the video.

TIP: If you want to level-up your accessibility beyond Instagram Stories and Reels captions, discover 5 Ways to Make Your Instagram Account More Accessible Right Now.

Including captions in your Instagram stories and reels can massively help create a more accessible space for everyone in your community — proving to be a no brainer for your brand or business.

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