TikTok Closed Captions

By: Verbit Editorial
TikTok Closed Captions

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media applications in the world, boasting over 1.1 billion active users worldwide. The 15 second to 3 minute videos being created are helping individuals and brands engage and share information in fun, short formats.  Professionals posting on the platform can greatly benefit when adding captions for TikTok to their videos, whether recorded or live streaming to engage with followers. 

The rapidly growing popularity of Tik Tok has created an avenue of opportunity for business leaders in all industries, leading to both increased revenue and higher engagement in their online marketing efforts. TikTok also offers many features that businesses can use in their online video marketing such as ads, branded hashtagging and video filters and effects. Diverse brands, including The Washington Post, The NBA, Chipotle, Adobe, Shopify and so many others are all leveraging TikTok today.

However, to make the most of content being shared on TikTok, individuals and brand leaders can improve their outcomes and audience reach through the simple strategy of offering closed captions on TikTok videos and live streams. Individuals and brands using TikTok captions, as well as and those who take a quick break to learn how to add captions on TikTok, will reap many benefits.

Take a look at all of the ways TikTok captions are being used and different ways you can go about producing them.

TikTok Closed Captions Improves Social Media Engagement and SEO

Video continues to help increase a company’s engagement rates on social. As a video-first platform, that benefit is amplified with TikTok. Statistics also reveal that TikTok offers greater engagement than other leading social platforms to users with small and large audiences alike. 

To help fuel video engagement, business and brand leaders should offer TikTok captioning on their videos to provide all audiences with different viewing needs with the ability to see, listen and read the content being shared. According to a leading SEO agency, providing TikTok closed captions on video can also help increase engagement through improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Closed captions allow audiences to discover content by searching for specific words mentioned in the videos. 

Captions are also known to increase comprehension. Ensuring video clips are captioned can help keep audiences engaged for even longer, increasing their likelihood to follow social profiles, consider products and visit websites off of the platform. 

Captioning on TikTok Expands Audience Reach

Outdoor cafe with a person taking a picture of another person

TikTok caption features also improve brand reach on social channels. Captions provide more opportunities to increase online views and followings with an understanding that social audiences consume content differently and have different needs. While TikTok video itself is engaging, adding captions can help expand an audience base to reach additional users that wouldn’t otherwise have been able to view or consume videos effectively without them.

Captioning TikTok videos can benefit a wide range of audiences: 

  • Individuals with vision and hearing disabilities, including those who are Deaf or Blind
  • People who are consuming content in a non-native language  
  • Audiences who are learning to read and write
  • Individuals unfamiliar with different accents
  • Users who are unable to hear video content due to a noisy background environment
  • Individuals who opt to view content silently when in environments where audio cannot be played out loud

In sum, TikTok video captions help and support the needs and preferences of a variety of users.

TikTok Closed Captions Boosts Channel Accessibility

With all of these different audience needs in mind, while captions are ‘nice to have’ for some, they are in fact critical for others. Professionals launching and running TikTok channels cannot overlook accessibility. While TikTok has been making efforts to support TikTok’s Deaf community as of late, there is still a lot of work that can be done by professionals to help boost and ensure accessibility on their individual channels for all audiences to consume their content effectively. 

Businesses are being evaluated more than ever on their commitments to diversity and inclusivity, so it’s important to prioritize TikTok captioning in all content being posted. Ensuring that video captioning is provided on all TikTok posts will give content that extra accessibility edge that many other creators continue to overlook when putting videos together. In addition to captioning video posts, business leaders should also ensure that TikTok live captions are provided for any live streamed events on their accounts.

Captioning helps make video accessible to individuals with hearing and vision disabilities. The disability community represents a significant percentage of the US and the presence of the disability community on TikTok continues to grow as it continues to make accessibility updates to its platform.

How Do Captions Work on TikTok?

If captions are available for a video on TikTok they can be turned on and off by users. To turn them on, you can tap the ‘Captions’ button on the left side of the screen. However, if they are distracting or blocking content and a user wants to hide them, they can disable the captions as well. They can simply tap the captions and select ‘Hide Captions.’

Captioning for TikTok is becoming the norm with so many users watching videos silently or wanting the extra visual cue, in addition to how they help individuals with disabilities. The ‘on’ and ‘off’ captions aspect is easy for users to navigate, so it calls comes down to how to add closed caption to TikTok videos and the process. While some opt to use TikTok’s internal automatic captions, others are well suited to use more professional services to create and add them.

Does TikTok Offer Closed Captioning?

TikTok has a feature which automatically adds captions for TikTok videos. To closed caption TikTok videos, this feature scans the audio of each video you post. Users simply create their videos within TikTok, click on the ‘Captions’ button and wait for it to process. The captions then appear on screen as users are watching your videos. However, it’s worth noting that these captions are created by Artificial Intelligence based speech-to-text, which often doesn’t always pick up on the nuances that humans do. You’ve likely seen influencers or brands on the platform who are using captions, but might be distracted by the errors that appear within the captions. It’s always better to offer captions than to not offer them, but if equity and accessibility is what you’re after, inaccurate captions might make your videos still difficult to comprehend for some users, such as those with hearing loss. 

How to Add Captions on TikTok

Luckily, captioning on TikTok is not complicated. You can add captions to your TikTok videos easily. As mentioned, going outside of the automatic ones generated by the platform is the best bet for captions that are accurate for accessibility needs; plus they’ll make sure that your videos on the platform appear as professional as possible. Companies like Verbit are known for their ability to quickly turn captions around that you can upload easily along with your video.

How? You’ll simply create your TikTok video, click on the ‘Captions’ button and wait for it to process. Then, you’ll tap the pencil icon in the corner of the screen and click add captions to upload your captioning file (.SRT file or the like). Companies like Verbit can also help you translate your content so that individuals looking for how to add subtitles to TikTok videos can have translated captioning files to upload too. Subtitles will allow you to grow your following and better reach users in different regions.

Start Captioning TikTok Videos Today

Business leaders shouldn’t delay adding captions for TikTok channels. Thanks to accessibility features implemented in the last year, captioning videos on TikTok is much easier than ever before. While TikTok has a text-to-speech feature that provides a synthetic voice to read the text from posts out loud, professional captioning should be used to offer true equity to individuals with disabilities. Many businesses launching videos across Facebook, LinkedIn and the like are dipping their toes into the TikTok waters now. TikTok is being used by B2B and B2C brands alike as they realize the growth of the platform and how much time their target audiences are spending on the platform.

Unfortunately, the auto-captioning solutions built into most social platforms often provide individuals who are aiming to reach diverse audience members with captions with inaccurate results. Its a shame when a professional video or a quick TikTok video is riddled with captioning errors, which can be confusing to audiences who rely on them. While auto captions can be useful to provide captioning in last-minute scenarios, it’s best practice to use a professional captioning service to ensure that captions are fully accurate.

Verbit is one of the leading providers of video accessibility and offers easy-to-use captioning for TikTok videos and live streams. The solution is also super cost efficient. For more information on how to quickly and easily make your social media videos more accessible, contact Verbit’s team today. We’re happy to share our insights on how to improve live and recorded content you’re posting on social, your website and other forums. Captioning and other solutions offer a surefire way to improve engagement, as well as information retention, so they captions shouldn’t be overlooked – especially when they’re so easy to add.