Instagram has announced a couple of new improvements today which will make it easier for people with visual impairments to use its photo-sharing service. It recognizes that these improvements will go a long way in making Instagram more accessible to the over 285 million people across the globe who have visual impairments.

Instagram has introduced automatic alternative text so users can hear descriptions of photos through their screen reader when they use Feed, Profile, and Explore. It uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers so users can hear a list of items that photos may contain as they browse the app.

Custom alternative text is also available so that users can add a richer description of their photos when they upload one. People who use screen readers will then be able to hear this description. These “alt text” descriptions are already widely used online so it’s good that Instagram is now baking them into its photo-sharing service.

This is the first time that such functionality is being offered by Instagram. Its parent company Facebook has been using object recognition technology to describe photos to visually impaired users for many years now. It’s a step in the right direction for Instagram, nonetheless.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Apps and Instagram. Source: instagram-press

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