Instagram's new accessible features get a thumbs up from visually impaired people
December 1, 2018
Social media is fast growing and is now an inevitable part of our lives. Goos or bad, it's here to stay. And with the audience growing, they are also becoming more accessible for people with disabilities. Like Facebook and Twitter and now Instagram.
This popular photo-sharing app has introduced two new features for people with low vision. The first is the introduction of automatic alternative text so a user can hear the descriptions of photos with the help of screen reader. It uses object recognition technology. Second is a custom alternative text so users can add a better description of photos that need to be uploaded. People who use the screen reader can hear this description.
I have been using Instagram for a while now. But I have felt that it is less accessible when compared to other social networking sites. For instance, when I post a picture on my Instagram stories, I cannot write captions on it. In fact, I don't even know where the options to write captions are located. I wouldn't also know if the captions, in case I write any, are located correctly. Hence, I avoid writing captions. I hope these new features can solve this. It will also ensure that more visually impaired people will join this social medium. - Simran Chawla, Simran Chawla, Princess India 2016
Instagram announced the launch of these new features earlier this week.
Tony Kurian, a blind student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (IIT-M) thinks the new changes will make Instagram the next big thing.. "Facebook and Twitter have had better accessibility features so far and now Instagram is slowly picking up. I believe it is going to be the next big thing in social networking sites. More blind people are now going to join Instagram and become a part of it".
This looks like a path-breaking step towards making social media more accessible.