While this is new for Instagram, Facebook has been using AI to describe photos to users with Visual impairments for many years. Instagram announced recently that it’s bringing new features to make the app easier to use for people with visual impairments. The photos will be described using the screen readers (software that describes the elements displayed on a screen), either automatically using AI or by reading custom descriptions added by other users.
These descriptions are known as “alt text,” which is widely used online and are now being built into Instagram. Users will be able to enter their own photo descriptions so that people using screen readers can hear it read aloud as they browse their feed, Explore page, or a profile.
If there is no description, Instagram will automatically identify the photo using object recognition technology, then read its automated description of a photo aloud when someone scrolls by. The alt text descriptions won’t be visible, and users will have to go into a photo’s “advanced settings” to include one.
however, the usefulness of the updates and new features will be clear in the future.