Get the Inside Scoop on Adding Captions to Your Instagram Videos: Step by Step Guide

Captions on Instagram videos serve a variety of important purposes. Not only do they provide a way for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to access the content of your videos, but they also make your videos more accessible to viewers who are in noisy or public places and may not be able to hear the audio. Additionally, captions can help to increase the reach and engagement of your videos by making them more discoverable to users who are searching for specific keywords.

The benefits of adding captions to your Instagram videos are clear, but how do you actually go about adding them? In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of adding captions to your Instagram videos using both the in-app tool and third-party tools. We’ll also cover some best practices for crafting effective and engaging captions, as well as strategies for transcribing and captioning videos with complex audio.

How to Turn On Captioning for Your Instagram Videos

Before you can add captions to your Instagram videos, you’ll need to make sure that captioning is turned on for your account. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to your profile and tap on the three lines in the top right corner.
  2. Tap on “Settings” from the menu that appears.
  3. Scroll down and tap on “Accessibility.”
  4. Toggle the “Captions” switch to “On.”

Once you’ve turned on captions for your Instagram account, you’ll be able to add captions to any of your videos by following the steps outlined in the next sections.

Adding Captions to Instagram Videos Using the In-App Tool

Instagram provides a built-in tool for adding captions to your videos. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile.
  2. Tap on the “Edit” button (the pencil icon) next to the video you want to add captions to.
  3. Tap on the “Caption” field to enter your caption.
  4. Use the formatting options at the bottom of the screen to style your caption (e.g., bold, italic, underline).
  5. When you’re done, tap on “Done” to save your changes.

Tips for Formatting and Styling Your Captions

  • Keep it short and sweet: Captions should be concise and to-the-point. Try to limit yourself to one or two sentences per caption.
  • Use line breaks to break up long captions: If you have a longer caption that you’d like to include, use line breaks to divide it into shorter chunks that are easier to read.
  • Use hashtags and @ mentions sparingly: While hashtags and @ mentions can be a great way to reach a wider audience, be sure to use them sparingly in your captions. Overuse can come across as spammy and turn off potential followers.

Adding Captions to Instagram Videos Using Third-Party Tools

While the in-app tool is a convenient option for adding captions to your Instagram videos, it may not always be the most efficient or effective choice. In these cases, you may want to consider using a third-party tool to add captions to your videos.

There are many different third-party tools available that allow you to add captions to your Instagram videos, including Rev, Happy Scribe, and Temi. These tools typically work by using speech recognition technology to automatically transcribe your audio into text, which you can then edit and fine-tune to create accurate and effective captions.

Pros and Cons of Using Third-Party Tools

There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to use a third-party tool to add captions to your Instagram videos:


  • More efficient: Third-party tools can be more efficient than the in-app tool, especially for longer or more complex videos.
  • More accurate: Speech recognition technology has come a long way in recent years, and many third-party tools offer high levels of accuracy when transcribing audio into text.
  • More customization options: Some third-party tools offer a wider range of formatting and styling options for your captions, allowing you to create more visually appealing and engaging captions.


  • Cost: Many third-party tools charge a fee for their services, which may not be practical for all users.
  • Learning curve: Some third-party tools can be more complex to use than the in-app tool, requiring a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Adding Captions Using a Third-Party Tool

Here’s a general outline of the process for adding captions to your Instagram videos using a third-party tool:

  1. Select a third-party captioning tool and sign up for an account.
  2. Upload the video that you want to add captions to.
  3. Use the tool’s speech recognition technology to automatically transcribe the audio into text.
  4. Edit and fine-tune the transcribed text to create accurate and effective captions.
  5. Use the formatting and styling options provided by the tool to customize the appearance of your captions.
  6. Export the captioned video and upload it to your Instagram account.

Best Practices for Captions on Instagram Videos

Captions are an important part of your Instagram videos, and taking the time to craft effective and engaging captions can go a long way towards increasing the reach and engagement of your content. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Accuracy is key: The most important thing is to make sure that your captions are accurate and reflect what is being said in the audio. Even small errors can be confusing or misleading to viewers.
  • Clarity is also important: In addition to accuracy, it’s also important to make sure that your captions are clear and easy to understand. Use simple language and avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to some viewers.
  • Use formatting and styling to your advantage: Don’t be afraid to use formatting and styling options to make your captions more visually appealing and engaging. For example, you can use bold or italic text to highlight important points or use line breaks to divide long captions into shorter chunks.
  • Be mindful of multi-language audiences: If you have a multi-language audience, you may want to consider adding captions in multiple languages to make your content more accessible to viewers who speak languages other than your own.

Captions for Instagram Videos with Complex Audio

Transcribing and captioning videos with complex audio can be a challenging task, but it’s an important part of making your content accessible to a wider audience. Here are a few strategies and resources that can help:

  • Use transcription software: There are many transcription software programs available that can help you transcribe audio into text more quickly and accurately. Some popular options include Otter, Trint, and Descript.
  • Hire a transcription service: If you don’t have the time or expertise to transcribe your own audio, you may want to consider hiring a transcription service to do it for you. There are many transcription services available that can handle a variety of audio types and accents.
  • Utilize resources for transcribing difficult audio: If you’re having trouble transcribing audio with heavy accents or multiple speakers, there are resources available that can help. For example, the TranscribeMe Accent Library includes audio samples of a wide range of accents, which can be helpful for training transcription software or for helping you transcribe audio manually.

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