What Is Alt Text On Instagram, And Why Should You Care?

There are two reasons to add alt text to your images on Instagram, but one of those reasons isn’t a reason at all


dog on skate board

Alt text, or alternative text, is the actual description of an image on the internet.

See this photo? It’s a brown dog holding a bone and looking cute. So, the alternative text might be “brown dog holding a bone and looking cute”.

Shortest blog post ever. #earlyfinish.

Buuuuuuut you probably want to know more than that, so let’s get into how you add alt text.



It’s automatic, yay! All images on Instagram are automatically scanned and assigned an alt text based on what’s in the image. It’s not an exact science and there are a few bears that get called ‘hairy men,’ but you get it.


Oh gawd, apparently I’ve got a minimum word count, so I’m going to try and beef this bad boy out even more.

If you want to add your own alt text to make sure your breakfast isn’t assigned ‘slop on plate’, you just need to (apologies, this now gets awfully technical)

  1. Click on advanced settings when you’re about to post.
  2. Then click on ‘Write Alt Text’.
  3. Then write the alt text.


What is Alt Text on Instagram, and Why Should You Care?            What is Alt Text on Instagram, and Why Should You Care?


Why should you bother? There’s only one reason because the second one is entirely irrelevant, but to flesh this out just a little bit more, I’ll build some suspense.

The reason that works is assisting the visually impaired. For the visually impaired community, this is a really important feature because recognition tools that read out what’s on the page use the alt text for images. It’s fantastic to see Facebook and Instagram coming up with improvements to tools that improve the online experience for everyone.

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The not-a-reason-reason is so that Google can find your post and people can find your picture of a dog in a hat when they type ‘dog in hat’ into Google. This is a popular non-reason because using alt text in blogs and websites is important for Google searchyness.

Try searching for anything on Google. Dogs in hats on Instagram, men on logs on Instagram or anything else that will give you a lot of images to go through. You’ll find profiles, but no Instagram images because Instagram doesn’t let Googletron or whatever thing at Google does all the work search for images, so you can alt text until your fingers bleed and it won’t do a thing.

But don’t let me stand in your way.

Remember, when creating alt text to use as much detail as possible and don’t be afraid to share details. And when you’re using the Plann app, just edit as normal using advanced settings when it’s posting time.


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