Using Facebook Video Captions to Boost Engagement

By: Verbit Editorial



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With so much content being uploaded to Facebook, business leaders must invest in resources that will help their marketing videos stand out from the crowd. One such resource to consider is closed captioning. The benefits of solutions like YouTube captioning and Vimeo captioning became evident in recent years. Similarly, adding closed captions to videos posted on Facebook can help significantly improve their reach and help make content more accessible. With captions, businesses are able to connect with wider, more diverse audiences.

Facebook Closed Captioning Table of Contents:

monitor on a table displaying a man holding binoculars with facebook logos on the lens and facebook closed captioning

Does Facebook Caption Videos?

As more and more users have come to expect the option of viewing content with closed captioning, Facebook has provided creators with the ability to caption their content directly within the platform. Facebook currently allows users to enable automatically generated captions for videos they upload to Pages on the site. The platform also recently rolled out an automatic Facebook Live captioning tool for Facebook Live broadcasts.

While this functionality may seem fast and convenient, there are several limitations to the technology. First of all, auto-captioning is only available for videos posted on public Business Pages. Second, Facebook only offers automatic captions in English, exclusively for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada.

Automatic Speech Recognition technology has rapidly become a part of many people’s daily lives. For instance, virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri are helping people perform many routine tasks. However, these tools are not without faults. Perhaps, the biggest downside to captions that AI alone generates, however, is their relatively low accuracy rate. For example, ASR tends to misrepresent text spoken by individuals with dialects or regionalisms. ASR-generated captions also tend to be less accurate if a video contains a lot of background noise or if the general audio quality is poor.

Facebook allows users to manually edit auto-generated captions, but this process can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. It’s also important to note that any employee tasked with editing a video’s captions would need to have adequate training in the transcription process. Untrained employees are similarly prone to transcription errors. These individuals may fail to catch some of the mistakes that appear in the automatic captions.

laptop displaying the facebook page, and a camera, mouse, pen and cup and facebook closed captioning

Facebook Caption Accuracy: Why it Matters

As mentioned, there are varying accuracy rates for closed captions. However, how much does accuracy really matter? In short: a lot. In order to provide equitable viewing experiences for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, captions must achieve a high level of accuracy. That’s why accuracy is an important factor when it comes to compliance with accessibility standards like the Americans with Disabilities Act

Furthermore, inaccurate captions are a potential PR problem. While some transcription errors are harmless or even funny, other errors can be embarrassing and offensive. Video marketers looking to make a good impression on their audience should take steps to avoid these costly mistakes whenever possible.

Those interested in a more accurate Facebook closed captioning solution can turn to a professional captioning service like Verbit. Verbit can use artificial intelligence in conjunction with a vast network of professional human transcribers to provide closed captions with targeted accuracy rates of up to 99%. Users can easily upload a Facebook video to Verbit’s platform where a proprietary AI software will create the first draft. Verbit’s captioning pros will then edit this transcript before converting it into a Facebook-compatible SRT file. That file will include time-synced captioning text to make your video more accessible. 

How Do I Put Closed Captions on Facebook Videos?

Facebook makes it easy for users to upload professional caption files to their content in just a few steps:

  1. When viewing a video click (…) in the top right corner and select Edit Video.  
  2. Navigate to the Captions tab. 
  3. Click Upload SRT files and select the desired .srt file from your computer. 
  4. Set the appropriate default language and click Save.

Once the user uploads the file, the captions will automatically appear on-screen whenever viewers watch the video on mute. When watching a video with sound, viewers will also have the ability to enable or disable captions by clicking the [CC] button at the bottom of the screen. 

Facebook also recently made closed captioning available for Facebook Live broadcasts. Users can partner with a third-party captioning service like Verbit to provide Facebook Live closed captioning for their viewers. Verbit’s team can later review and edit these real-time captions to further boost the accuracy rate. Verbit’s professionals are also able to convert these captions into a searchable transcript. Users can post that transcript online where it will serve as a reference tool long after a Live video concludes. 

a camera with facebook live logo being held by a hand with leaves on the background

What are the Benefits of Captioning Facebook Videos?

There are several reasons why creators should consider putting in the effort to accurately caption their content. Perhaps the two biggest reasons to do so are accessibility and engagement.

  • Captioning Facebook Videos Improves Accessibility:  

People of all backgrounds and abilities use Facebook. All users deserve equitable experiences on the platform, and captioning is a great way to provide content that is inclusive of everyone. Closed captioning is a proven means of improving the accessibility of video content for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Offering closed captioning on Facebook can also support viewers with ADHD or auditory processing disorders and can serve as a valuable tool for anyone consuming content in a non-native language.  

  • Captioning Facebook Videos Boosts Engagement:  

Recent studies show that roughly 85% of users watch Facebook videos with no sound. This essentially renders useless any video without captions. It’s also important for creators to take into consideration the fact that Facebook videos automatically play on mute when a user is scrolling through their feed. As a result, captions are a critical tool for grabbing the attention of casual scrollers. Facebook’s internal research suggests that adding captions to video ads can increase average view time by as much as 12%. In addition to improving engagement within Facebook’s platform, captions can also improve the content’s discoverability by search engines, thus boosting a brand’s SEO ranking.

Offering Inclusive Brand Experiences with Verbit

Producing online video content is a great way for businesses to improve their reach and visibility. However, brands that fail to prioritize accessibility run the risk of leaving behind large portions of their potential audience.

As social media continues to evolve, businesses that currently use accessibility tools like LinkedIn captions or Twitter video captions may now find it necessary to invest in additional solutions. For instance, Facebook captioning, TikTok captioning and adding captions to Instagram are all important ways to make content accessible. 

Verbit offers a full suite of accessibility solutions, including captioning, transcription, translation and audio description. All or our tools are compatible with the leading social platforms to help video marketers more easily offer equitable brand experiences to all audience members. Through optimized workflows and seamless software integrations, Verbit makes it possible for business leaders to focus critical resources on supporting their community in an ever-changing digital landscape. Reach out to learn more about how Verbit’s team is helping improve the reach of video content while demonstrating their dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.