Instagram was historically known as an image sharing social media platform. However with the addition of Instagram Live, Instagram Stories and IGTV, which launched in June 2018, Instagram is becoming more video based.  

Instagram’s inclusion of more video isn’t surprising.  Statistics by Cisco suggest that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. As Instagram still trails behind Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp, as the 5th most popular social media platform, it will need more video content capabilities to keep pace.

If you decide to join the bandwagon using IGTV videos as part of your social media strategy, it’s worth getting the most out of it. To do this, you will need to include captions with every video you upload.  As Instagram auto-mutes all content, if you post a video without captions, you risk losing up to 85% of your audience from the outset.  

Adding captions has other benefits too.  Captions increase view time by up to 12%.  Captions make videos accessible to those who are hearing impaired or speak a different language. Captions improve SEO and ranking.

One challenge with IGTV videos is that currently,  unlike YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook, Instagram doesn’t offer an auto-captioning feature. Don’t let this stop you!  Adding captions will take a few more steps, but the process is still straight-forward.  This step by step guide will show you how to add captions to IGTV Videos.

Step 1: Record a Video

Before you begin recording your video it is worth reviewing Instagram’s video upload requirements.

Some key things to note:

  • Video lengths can be as long as 10 to 60 minutes depending on your account.
  • Videos must be in MP4 file format.
  • Vertical videos must have an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • Horizontal videos must have an aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Videos should have a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second) and minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
  • The maximum file size for videos that are 10 minutes or less is 650MB. The maximum file size for videos up to 60 minutes is 3.6GB.

Step 2: Transcribe Your Video

Next you will need to upload your final video to Happy Scribe.  

Happy Scribe will automatically transcribe your video to text and provide you with an .SRT file which you will need for Step 3.  

Happy Scribe offers non-subscription based automatic transcription of your video to text.

Happy Scribe offers a non-subscription based automatic transcription. Meaning, if you want to just transcribe a one-off video to text you can do so for as little as £6 for 30 minutes.  Plus the first 30 minute transcription is on us.

Step 3: Burn Your Captions to Your Video

Next, you will need to burn the captions to your video.

There are many options available to burn your captions to video. However, for all, you will need an .SRT file.  If you convert your video to text using Happy Scribe, you will be able to download an .SRT file as part of the video to text transcription package.  This file will also have time codes, making it easy to synch up the text and the audio in your video.

One simple option to add captions to your social media videos is Crop.video.  This website allows you to import an .SRT file, crop your video to square or vertical format, remove unwanted shots in the beginning or end with a trim tool, and download your video with hardcoded captions.  

Crop.video makes it easy to upload an .SRT file and burn captions to your video.

Crop.video offers a free option with limited 100MB video file size, along with additional pricing options for file sizes over this.

Step 4: Upload Your Captioned Video to Instagram

Once you have captioned and downloaded your video from Crop.video you can do the final stage: Upload your captioned video to Instagram.

To upload a video to IGTV you will need a channel. If you don’t have one yet, it is easy to create one.

As you are likely to be uploading a large video file to IGTV, it is best to do your upload on the web at instagram.com following these steps:

  • From a computer, open your web browser and go to instagram.com.
  • Go to your profile and click IGTV.
  • Click Upload a Video.
  • Click and choose a video, or drag and drop a video file.
  • Add a title and description. You can also choose to share a preview of your video to Instagram Feed and your profile or share your video to a Facebook Page.
  • Click Post.

Note: When you share a video to your feed and your profile, it appears as a preview, which is the first section of your video. Once the preview is finished, the video pauses, and viewers will need to tap ‘Keep Watching’ to continue watching the full video.


Whilst uploading captions to IGTV videos isn’t quite as straight-forward as using Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube, it is still pretty easy.

Just remember that you will need an .SRT file.

To get an accurate .SRT file and automatic transcription of your video to text, please don’t hesitate to contact Happy Scribe.