Since Instagram is all about visual content, it wasn’t easily accessible to visually impaired users. But this is about to change: Instagram is introducing two new features that will help the visually impaired to use the app.
According to a blog post announcing the new features, there are 285 million visually impaired people in the world. Instagram believes that there are many people who would benefit from a more accessible app, so it’s introducing the features to assist them as they scroll through the photos, videos, stories, and other content.
The first feature uses object recognition technology that generates a description of photos for screen readers. This way, as users scroll through Feed, Explore or someone’s profile, they can hear descriptions of what’s in the photos. Considering that Instagram’s parent company Facebook already offers this feature, I assume it’s the same tech.
The second feature Instagram is introducing is custom alternative text. It allows users to add a richer description of their photos when they upload them, so people who use screen readers will be able to hear this description.
According to the statistics, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and it’s one of the most popular social networks in the world. Even though it’s focused mainly on visual content, I believe it’s reasonable that it becomes accessible to the visually impaired. And according to Instagram, these are only the first steps towards creating a more accessible app.
[via Tech Crunch]