Instagram adds text-to-speech to Reels experience2 min read

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Social platform Instagram added new text-to-speech features for IG users yesterday. The new capabilities, living within the text tool in the Reels camera, allow users to have an auto-generated voice read text from the post to provide an audio narration to the post.

The message from IG to its users that announced the additional capabilities said, in part: “We know that sound and audio are one of the funniest aspects of creating a Reel!” There are currently two voice options for users to choose from (male/female) in adding this new feature to their Reels.

In addition to text-to-speech, the platform also added Voice Effects. This allows users to modify the audio track and also the voiceover to the post. The effects options include Helium, Giant, Vocalist, Announcer and Robot. These options are found in the audio mixer tool that users can select when editing a Reel after they record it.

In the first full day that the features were announced, the message posted by the company received over 34K likes.

Why we care. Thanks to recent government hearings about Facebook and other interviews by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, we know that Instagram has been desperately seeking younger users. Since launching the Reels video program last year, there has also been little question with what massively growing platform IG is competing with — TikTok.

For marketers, the most important tip to pull from these upgrades is the playbook for successful social content — short videos that are easy to edit and respond to in kind. (Think: any sort of “challenge.”) Brands can tap into these platforms’ extensive networks of Influencers to reach audiences, but in managing fashion-forward buzz-generating campaigns on TikTok and the Gram, there has to be a brand strategy in place to take full advantage. In this case, the humorous computery voiceovers are now officially a thing.

Read next: Optimizing for TikTok with challenges and influencers.

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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