Twitch Closed Captions

By: Danielle Chazen



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The 140M monthly active users who are utilizing Twitch use the interactive live streaming platform to watch content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports and music. Plus, the platform is inclusive, allowing for individuals around the world to consume its content with Twitch closed captions to help with viewer comprehension and access needs.

Table of Contents:

How to use Twitch closed captions

Ensuring content being streamed on Twitch is inclusive of international audiences and that they can comprehend it is therefore essential for engagement. Those streaming on the platform are turning to Twitch captions and Twitch subtitles to assist in this effort. These solutions are being enlisted to make the content more accessible.

Twitch closed captions can be offered on all video content and livestreams to improve the experience for many groups of individuals. When captions are available on a live stream or video, viewers will see a CC button that lets them turn the captions on or off.

From those watching without sound to viewers with disabilities to international viewers who can benefit from an additional visual aid, captions can help all of them best capture and engage with the content.

Viewers who can’t access sound: From cheeky employees tuning in during work to those commuting or others who can’t listen aloud with others in their homes, captions can help all of those watching without sound. Many social viewers and streamers today even prefer to watch with captions even when sound is available to them. Captions allow for additional flexibility for on-the-go or busy consumers with other obligations.

International viewers: While 20.8% of Twitch viewers are based in the US, the platform is also seeing high engagement from viewers in Germany, Korea, Russia and France. Providing these individuals with captions on Twitch videos and streams helps them better engage when watching in non-native languages. Captions can appear on screen to help with comprehension.

Viewers with disabilities: Captions can also be used to make video accessible to individuals who are Deaf or have hearing loss. Captions make the content equitable to them and those posting content with the captions are creating a more inclusive environment as a result. For content to be accessible to them, captions need to reach 99% accuracy levels to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines or the Equality Act of 2010 in the UK.

Man wearing a headset facing a computer

What does Closed Captions mean on Twitch?

Twitch offers closed captioning and it can be accessed through its creator dashboard system. Users can also add captions through extensions to use 3rd party partners like Verbit to support the need for accessibility and engagement for all individuals.

Many of the built-in captions you’ll find on Twitch and related streaming platforms lack in accuracy levels, making the captions more distracting than they are helpful in those scenarios. When that’s the case, they also prevent individuals who don’t just prefer captions but those who need them – such as those with disabilities like hearing loss – from accessing the content equitably.

How do you get captions on Twitch?

Adding closed captions to Twitch videos means that the dialogue or sounds which are present audibly are shown on screen via text. Captions can be produced live so that access can be provided to viewers in real-time.  

It’s simple to add captions to your Twitch content. They can be activated through extensions and with these steps:

  • Click the ‘Add’ button next to the extension to add it to your Extensions Library
  • Once clicked, a window will appear and guide you to enable the extension as a ‘Video Overlay’
  • On the top of your dashboard, click ‘My Extensions’ to view installed and activated extensions
  • You’ll find a Closed Captioner extension and can click to activate it
  • Select ‘Set as Overlay 1’ and a popup will appear to confirm it is active
  • Click the cog in the Active Extension box to open the popup screen again
  • Click the link to the captioner dashboard and sign in to Twitch
  • To start captioning, click ‘On’ for closed captions

Captions will then appear when you start livestreaming and those watching can adjust the settings to meet their needs. When your stream ends, you can then turn off the captions and exit the dashboard to stop them.

The words ‘captions’ and ‘subtitles’ are often used interchangeably in the daily vernacular, but they’re not the same thing. Subtitles refer to having text appear on screen which look very similar to captions, but appear in a different language then the dialogue was spoken in initially.

For example, if a gamer is livestreaming with captions and speaking in English, captioning the content means the text will appear on screen in English. If the gamer was interested in having the video dialogue which was spoken in English translated to German, they could have text appear on screen in German.

Professional translation is always best to pick up on nuances that occur from language to language. For this reason, Verbit produces captions and uses professional human translators to translate them into other languages so international viewers can participate. Translations produced by Artificial Intelligence alone are rarely correct and something to be wary of.

It’s quite rare to see Twitch subtitles, let alone accurate ones being streamed.

Man in front of PC

Twitch currently ranks 4th as the most commonly used social media platform among video gamers in the US. It falls just behind YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This statistic fails to mention the millions of others using the platform to engage in music and other entertainment being streamed.

It’s therefore a platform that many companies and individuals can greatly benefit from investing in to expand their reach. However, regardless of the platform you’re launching content on most, Verbit can help to provide key integrations to make adding accurate video captioning and real time captioning much easier.

Verbit serves as an essential partner to businesses and content creators who need to make live content and broadcasts accessible. Verbit offers key integrations with social and video platforms you’re likely using to make the process seamless and scalable so you can focus on your content instead of the technicalities.

For example, we launched support for Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to make the streaming experience better. Hundreds of platforms support RTMP, including YouTube, Vimeo, Livestream, Twitch, DaCast, Periscope and Facebook Live. Verbit can therefore connect directly to these livestreams to make them accessible quickly.

We’re also working to provide solutions that don’t just help to engage individuals with hearing loss or who benefit from captions, but others such as audio description that helps individuals who are Blind or low vision consume video with equity.

Feel free to reach out to us to learn more about how Verbit and its team can help to improve your video engagement on social and live streaming platforms. Plus, we can explain so many other tools which are available to you as well, including how to make your video content searchable after-the-fact with transcription software.