Instagram Adds Accessibility Features for Visually Impaired Users

Instagram is making it easier for visually impaired users to enjoy the photo-sharing platform.

According to a new press release from the Facebook-owned social network, it’s rolling out a number of new features today that are intended to make it easier for those with visual impairments use the app. The tools will enable them to hear a description of the photos uploaded to the network.

The first accessibility tool makes use of object recognition technology that is able to identify a photo’s contents and generate an audio description for visually impaired users. The tool is available for photos on a user’s Instagram feed, their own profile, and in the Explore window.

The second tool allows original posters to enter their own photo descriptions when making a new post that will be read aloud to visually impaired users when they scroll through or click on the photo.

Other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have offered alternative text descriptions for some time now. The fact that Instagram is adding these accessibility features to a platform entirely dependent on visual images may open it up to a number of new users that may have otherwise never thought it feasible.