In this day and age, an insane amount of people around the globe have access to each other through the magic of the Internet. You may have friends in India, Ireland, the U.S. and the U.K. With special software able to defeat the language barrier on some fronts, and many countries speaking common languages like English, it’s never been easier to connect across borders and oceans. One place on the internet where software-based translations have not contributed to international friendships, however, is Instagram. The photo-sharing social network has traditionally focused on images, leaving the stories behind them untranslated. A new update that will be rolling out over the next month or so should change all of that.
In the coming weeks, Instagram will begin automatically translating stories on people’s feeds and user-written profile bio pages. Instagram’s announcement did not detail exactly when the new feature would roll out to all markets, what languages would be supported or if anything beyond user bios and feed stories, like direct messages and in-imagine text, would be able to be translated. When the feature does roll out, users will see a button near translatable text that will switch over the original content to the translated content. The old content will be translated automatically behind the scenes and made available gradually to users in all of Instagram’s markets around the globe. The translations will be done according to the language you have set for Instagram.
The global rollout of this new feature should take place over the next month and be available to all users on desktop and mobile versions of the service. Breaking down language barriers has always been one of the internet’s best features, and seeing it come to Instagram finally brings it from just another social network to a full-featured communications platform, among the ranks of the Facebooks and Googles of the world that already have the feature intact and, in most cases, have for quite some time. While the stable of supported languages may be a bit on the thin side on the initial rollout, it is to be assumed that more languages will be added over time.