Instagram Will Start Letting You Translate Captions, Comments and Bios

New feature coming next month

Headshot of Marty Swant

Ever gone scrolling through Instagram and come across a breathtaking photo of the mountains of Iceland, the streets of Thailand or the jungles of the Amazon and wanted to know what the local photographer had to say about it—only to see the caption was written in a foreign language and there's no copy-and-paste option to drop it all into Google Translate? 

We've all been there. And now, Instagram is finally going to help us out.

Starting next month, the social media platform will begin offering translations for captions and comments for news feed posts written in other languages. The words will be translated automatically based on the original language and the language setting of the user reading it.

"In the coming month, you'll see a translation button on feed stories and profile bios written in languages different from your own," Instagram wrote in a caption to a photo. "The Instagram community has grown faster and become more global than we ever imagined. And we're excited that you'll soon be able to understand the full story of a moment, no matter what language you speak."

The update unlocks the Instagram world to even more potential engagement. Earlier this week, the company announced it now has more than 500 million users—and 300 million daily users—with 80 percent of those from outside the U.S.

It's still unclear which languages will be supported by the update. However, the platform already supports nearly two dozen languages, so it's likely all—or at least some—of those will be in the initial rollout.

Instagram isn't the first social media platform to offer translations. Last year, Twitter began partnering with Microsoft Bing to offer tweet translations for both Twitter's website and mobile app. Even further back, in 2011, Facebook began offering its own translation option.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.