Instagram added two features to Reels yesterday: text-to-speech and voice effects. These features are popular already on TikTok, but now, creators can use them on Instagram too. This marks yet another effort from Instagram to keep up with TikTok when it comes to short-form video, as Instagram offers big reels bonuses to incentivize creators,
Text-to-speech is a necessary accessibility feature that helps blind and low-vision people understand written text. But videos with these robotic voices became so inexplicably popular on TikTok that the voice actor behind the feature sued the company since she hadn’t given it permission to use her recordings. After she filed her lawsuit, TikTok changed the voice behind the feature.
Creators often use text-to-speech voiceovers not so much for their accessibility benefits, but because it can be kind of funny to have a monotone, computerized voice narrating their content. The text-to-speech tool can be found within the text tool in the Reels camera. Once you record or upload a video, navigate to preview to add text. Once you add the text, a text bubble will appear at the bottom of the screen, which lets users time when they want that bit of text to appear. But now, you can tap a three-dot icon to open a menu for each text bubble, which will give you the option to add a text to speech voiceover. There are two voice options to choose from.
But voice effects let you get even more creative with your reels. These features let you modify the audio or the voiceover in your post. To see these effects, tap the music note once you’ve recorded your reel to open the audio mixer. Then, you’ll see an effects menu that lets you modify the audio in your reel or voiceover.
The new features are rolling out now to Instagram mobile users.
Originally published at techcrunch.com