Being the platform where people throw up their travel and food photos, Instagram is naturally a very visual-oriented service. But for the visually impaired, it’s got a key new feature to help them enjoy the service as much as the next person.
As part of an accessibility-focused update, Instagram is adding two options to help the visually impaired via text descriptions of photos. One option uses object recognition tech, while another is dependent on user text input.
The first one is pretty self-explanatory – Facebook’s technology will try to explain what’s going on in a given photo using text. This will then be read out by a screen reader, if one is being used.
As described, the second method will require those who post photos to provide an alternate set of text. It helps the poster paint a clearer picture of what’s going on, but this will also be what the screen reader will use when reading out descriptions of photos when the object recognition isn’t being used.
The feature began rolling out in the middle of the week, so if you’ve recently gotten an update to your Instagram app, this may be what’s added.