Instagram is working to bring in two new features on its platform, including text-to-speech on Reels and time left before story expires

Social media is a platform where people socialize with their friends, family, relatives and others. To make things more accessible, currently one of the social media giants, Instagram, owned by Facebook is working on some new features through which the platform will become handier even for the visually impaired users. These two upcoming features, as spotted by Alessandro Paluzzi, include the text to speech feature on Instagram reels whereas the second one is the availability of time left before the posted story expires.

The first text to speech feature rolled out back in 2018 when the platform announced its achievement of crossing 1 billion users worldwide ,though it was a new feature for the media giant but still Twitter launched its version in 2016 and even the owner company, Facebook also had their hands on text to speech feature. Since both of these platforms are linked , maybe this is the reason why the text to speech feature on both Facebook and Instagram is quite similar.

At the time of its first introduction Instagram said that through this new update, the platform will be able to help around 285 million users who are visually impaired. This statements was given two years back, and since then, millions of new users have joined the app and at a time of global pandemic where everything has shifted online to work from home, and the usage of different applications is at its all time high as well, so an updated version of this feature from just normal posts to Instagram reels, which is used because of the variety of videos it holds just like TikTok, could really help out everyone.


The working of this feature is quite simple, according to the details provided by Paluzzi, substitute text is assigned automatically in the description to the images and then, this alternative description can be played through the screen reader. The reader will analyze the image and will read out the given description so the user can hear it clearly. This substitute description is not available by default and can be accessed by enabling it via advanced setting option of the application. Since no details have been provided yet of the text to speech feature on Instagram reels, but it can be expected that it will work on the same guidelines.

The second feature may not be as big and important as the first one however it can still make things more easy for the users by letting them know about the time left before any story expires and based on this, they can prioritize stories that are at the edge to be no longer available on the platform. This feature is still not available for everyone as it is under the trial period, but if things go right then it can be expected to be available sooner as according to the sources, it is already available for some iOS users.

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