How to Add Subtitles to Instagram Reels

Article last updated on:
January 22, 2024

In today's digital world, creating engaging and shareable content is essential for any business or influencer. One effective way to increase the accessibility of your content is by adding subtitles to your Instagram Reels. Subtitles not only help those with hearing disabilities, but they also allow users who prefer watching videos without sound to enjoy your content to its fullest potential. In this guide, you'll learn how to add subtitles to Instagram Reels using a variety of methods, ensuring that your content reaches the broadest possible audience.

Why Add Subtitles to Instagram Reels?

While it might seem like an additional step, adding subtitles to your Instagram Reels has several benefits:

  • Accessibility to the hearing impaired: With millions of potential viewers, including subtitles ensures that everyone can enjoy your content regardless of their hearing ability.
  • Better engagement in noisy environments: Users tend to watch social media videos muted when in public spaces, and subtitles make it easier for them to follow along.
  • Improved comprehension and retention: Users may better understand and remember your message when both visual and auditory cues are provided.
  • Increased global reach: By translating subtitles into different languages, you can attract a broader international audience.

How to Add Subtitles to Instagram Reels Using a Transcription Service

Automated transcription services, such as vScoped, provide an easy way to generate accurate captions for your Instagram Reels. Follow these simple steps to add subtitles using an automated transcription service:

  1. Create an account with a transcription platform such as vScoped.
  3. Upload the video to the transcription platform and select your language.
  5. Wait for the automated transcription to complete. Depending on the video's length, this process may take a few minutes.
  7. Edit the subtitles as needed by going through the generated transcript and making any necessary adjustments.
  9. Download the subtitle file in the desired format (e.g., SRT).

Adding Transcribed Subtitles to Your Reel

Once you have downloaded the subtitle file, follow these steps to add them onto your Instagram Reel:

  1. Open an editing software that supports inserting captions, such as Adobe Premiere or Apple iMovie.
  3. Import your video clip and subtitle file into the editing software.
  5. Synchronize the subtitles with the audio in the video. Most editing software will automatically sync if the subtitle file is correctly formatted.
  7. Adjust the style and position of the subtitles to make sure they are easily readable and not blocking significant parts of the frame.
  9. Export the video with the embedded subtitles.

With your subtitled Instagram Reel exported, you can now post it on the platform, reaching a broader audience and increasing accessibility for all users.

Manually Adding Captions to Instagram Reels

If you prefer manually adding captions to your Instagram Reel, the process is surprisingly simple:

  1. Open Instagram Reels and create or upload your video clip.
  3. Select the "Text" icon in the editing toolbar.
  5. Type out the captions and place them on the video frame. Remember to adjust the size, color, and style for easy readability.
  7. Use the timing tool to synchronize each text element with the corresponding spoken words in the video.
  9. Review your work before publishing, ensuring that all captions are synchronized, legible, and unobtrusively placed within the frame.

Please note that while manually creating captions may be ideal for shorter videos, it can be incredibly time-consuming for longer or dialogue-heavy content. In such cases, using an automated transcription service is highly recommended.

Customizing Subtitle Style and Appearance

The appearance of subtitles plays a crucial role in making your content accessible and visually appealing. Consider these guidelines when customizing your subtitles:

  • Contrast: Ensure that your subtitles have high contrast with the background, typically achieved by using white text with a black outline or drop shadow.
  • Size: Choose a font size that balances readability with minimal obstruction of the video frame.
  • Font: Stick to clean, easy-to-read fonts like Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana for optimal accessibility.
  • Position: Place captions near the bottom of the frame, but avoid obscuring critical visual information.

Considerations for Multiple Languages

If you're targeting a global audience, offering your Instagram Reels in multiple languages can significantly increase engagement. Once you have subtitles for the original audio, follow these steps:

  1. Hire a professional translator or use online translation tools, ensuring you maintain accuracy and cultural nuances.
  3. Create separate subtitle files for each language using the translated text.
  5. Upload the video and subtitles to an editing software and export separate videos with embedded subtitles for each language.

With multilingual content, you'll be well on your way to reaching new audiences across the globe.

To Sum Up

Adding subtitles to your Instagram Reels is a powerful way to make your content more accessible and engaging for a broader audience. By utilizing transcription services, manual captioning, or both, you can enhance the viewer experience and ultimately help your content stand out from the crowd.

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