Social Media Accessibility Tips & Tricks: Instagram

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Whether sharing a new photo, commenting on current affairs, uploading a funny video, or promoting your business’s newest venture, social media remains relevant because people want to make connections. However, these connections aren’t always possible if social media platforms aren’t accessible. The Where It’s AT Blog team has put together some of the latest accessibility features social media platforms have been producing to make their communities more accessible to all. Using these Instagram accessibility tips and tricks, you can feel confident in your ability to connect with your community.

A smart phone displaying an Instagram profile in a person's right hand. Under the Where it's AT logo, the text reads Social Media Accessibility Tips & Tricks: Instagram -

Where it’s AT recently put out a guide to making accessible social media posts, that are universal for posting to most any social media platform. Check out the Social Media Tips and Tricks: Posting blog for guidance on accessible social media posting.

Instagram Built-In Accessibility Settings

Advanced Settings: Custom Alt-Text: users can customize their alt-text to add descriptions and convey meaning for people who utilize screen readers.

Automatic Alt-Text allows you to hear descriptions of photos through your screen reader when you use Feed, Explore ,and Profile. This automatic alt-text function uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers so you can hear a list of items that photos may contain while you are browsing the Instagram app.

Automatic Captions for Instagram Stories: From the Home tab, select Your Story in the top row, press the circular shutter button to record the video, after recording select the sticker icon and select the “Caption” sticker. How to Automatically Add Captions to Instagram Stories provides further insights.

Automatic Captions for Instagram TV (IGTV): In “settings” turn on video captions.  Captions are available in 16 languages.

Accessible Instagram posting tips:

Add custom alt text to posts:

  • Take a photo or upload an existing photo to Instagram
  • Edit the image as required, then tap “Next”
  • Select “Advanced Settings”
  • Tap “Write Alt Text” under the “Accessibility” header
  • Write your alt text in the box and tap “Done”

What if you’ve already created previous Instagram posts without alt-text? Don’t worry, you can add it alt-text after the fact! Simply click the three dots (…) on the top right of your existing post + click “edit”. On the bottom right of the photo, select “edit alt text” and write your alt-text description.

Add subtitles to all Instagram Stories and Videos: to ensure accessibility for those who have hearing difficulties. How to Add Captions to Instagram Stories provides a great tutorials. Additionally, apps such as MixCaptions on iOS and AutoCap on Android are great options to add captions.

Add descriptions to all Instagram Videos: In addition to subtitles, add video descriptions or transcriptions to the body of your posts. The descriptions will be accessible to individuals using a screen reader.

Keep your posts short and succinct and separate your longer paragraphs into shorter ones to improve the Instagram experiences for those who may have reading difficulties.

Optimize your color contrast and avoid using fonts that are decorative. Decorative fonts are not accessible at all. When using Instagram Stories, follow this accessibility guide, provided by George Washington University or the WebAIM contrast checker.

Effective ways to promote your business on Instagram:

Are you interested in using Instagram to leverage your company or business? Below are some tips to begin an Instagram marketing campaign.

Create an Instagram Business Account to accurately track metrics, follower growth, and more.

Schedule your posts on Hootsuite to plan out your social media calendar. It is important to schedule postings at strategic times to match your audience’s social media behavior.

Enhance your Instagram bio by including handles to your other social media business accounts: Instagram, Facebook.  Use LinkTree, and put the hyperlink in your bio, to link your IG audience to all of your online content (website, relevant articles, event registration).

Run Instagram Ads to build and grow your audience. If your budget allows, this is great method for promoting event registration, services, grand openings, etc. to increase views and build your followers.  You’re able to run ads in the Instagram feed, Stories, or Explore.

Promote your Instagram profile everywhere. Include your Instagram handle (with link) on your website, and various business accounts Facebook, Instagram. Include a link in your e-mail signature.

Tag fellow businesses and like fellow IG pages in your posts in an effort to build your audience and increase engagement.

Once Connected

Be sure to follow the awesome disability groups on Instagram, including Independent Living Centers across the state participating in their communities through Instagram. You can see what they are all about and engage with them.

Independent Living Resource Center Tri County @ilrc_trico

ILRC Trico Logo

Rolling Start @rollingstartinc

RSI Logo

Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID) @cid.sanmateo

CID Logo

Additional Instagram Accessibility Information:

5 Ways to Make Your Instagram Accessible Right Now

How To Make Your Instagram More Accessible and Why It’s Important

Creating Accessible Instagram Posts

21 of the Best Instagram Marketing Tips