Using image descriptions in Instagram posts


It’s pretty common knowledge now that you can set image descriptions on Twitter, but did you know that you can set them on your Instagram posts too? Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do it.

Let’s say I want to share a photo of my dog, Luna.

Photo of Luna, a labradoodle, laying on green grass and holding a stick that's almost three times her size.
Luna loves this giant stick

The first steps are the same as the usual Instagram process: I select a photo, apply a filter, and write a description. That takes me here:

Screenshot of Instagram's new post screen where an arrow is pointing to the Advanced Settings option
My prepared Instagram post

Before I hit “share”, I have to go into the “Advanced Settings” at the bottom of the app. That takes me to a menu of options, including “Write Alt Text”:

Screenshot of Instagram's Advanced settings screen where an arrow is pointing to the Write Alt Text option
Advanced settings screen

If I select that option, I’ll get a freeform box where I can write my image description:

Screenshot of Instagram's Alt Text entry screen where text has been entered
Alt-text entry screen

I wrote a quick snippet for my photo that describes what’s going on and what I’m emphasizing in my post (I’m calling attention that the “stick” is much larger than my dog). Once I save that, I can share my post!

Now that I’ve shared my captioned post, where is that alt-text used? By accessibility tools! Take a look in this video:

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