Twitter Video Captions

By: Verbit Editorial
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Twitter is now seeing more than 2 billion video views on its platform every single day. Research now shows that Tweets with videos see 10x more engagement on average than posts with text alone.

Video continues to dominate as a critical social media advertising tool. However, as companies and organizations invest more in producing video content, they also need to take steps to ensure those videos are reaching the widest target audience possible.

With so many social media audiences viewing silently and with disabilities to consider, adding closed captions to Twitter videos offers one reliable way to serve diverse audiences and increase your videos’ reach in the process.

mobile phone displaying the twitter application with twitter video captions

How Do Twitter Video Captions Work?

Let’s talk about how to add closed captioning to Twitter video. Unlike YouTube captioning or Vimeo captioning, Twitter currently does not offer any in-house software for automatically captioning videos uploaded to their platform. It is possible to automatically generate captions for voice Tweets and audio content in Twitter Spaces, but both of these features are in their early stages. Twitter’s own website says the captions being automatically created in these instances tend to be less accurate than best practices would demand.

Subsequently, the only way for users to add captions to their uploaded videos is to add SRT file to Twitter video.

What is an SRT file?

In order to understand how to add captions to Twitter video, you’ll first need to understand the role of SRT files. SRT file stands for SubRip Subtitle file. This file is used in conjunction with video files and contains all of the subtitles for a video, as well as the time codes indicating when each subtitle should appear on the screen. The combination of captions and time stamps allows the captions to sync up with the video as it is being viewed. It’s worth noting that an SRT file itself does not include any video content, so it must be uploaded in addition to any video files a user is hoping to caption.

How To Create an SRT File

The fastest and easiest way to generate caption files for your content is to partner with a professional transcription service that is experienced in creating an SRT file for Twitter. These captioning services typically aren’t expensive and can automate and streamline the process of generating an SRT file for you. Outsourcing this effort also makes it possible for companies to quickly scale up their video marketing capabilities.

The right captioning and transcription partner should not only be able to generate a high volume of caption files, but should also provide you with a high level of accuracy to ensure your captions look professional and are accessible to individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Verbit’s captioning service, for example, uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence and human transcribers to generate highly accurate captions in a fraction of the time it would take someone to do so manually. This high level of accuracy acts as a safeguard against embarrassing and potentially offensive transcription errors. Verbit makes it easier for brands to eliminate the tedious task of captioning and focus their time more wisely.

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How to Upload an SRT File to Twitter

Once you’ve received an SRT file for your captions, Twitter allows users to upload their own SRT files along with their videos. The steps for uploading an SRT file to Twitter are:

  1. Login to Twitter and upload your video. 
  2. Click below the video where it says “Upload caption file (.srt)” 
  3. Select “Upload captions” and choose the correct SRT file from your computer. 
  4. Click “Done.”
  5. Select “Tweet” to post the newly captioned video to Twitter.

After following these steps, viewers will be able to see captions that are perfectly timed to the video content in the language in which they were written. Twitter also recently rolled out a CC button which makes it possible for a viewer to turn video captions on or off at their discretion.

Why Caption Your Twitter Videos?

We’ve discussed the “how” but let’s talk about the “why.” Here are several encouraging reasons to add captions to Twitter video:

  • Increased Engagement: 80% of users are more likely to watch a video in its entirety if the video includes captions. Closed captioning is a great way to ensure your content reaches its widest possible audience and doesn’t get lost in the social media echo chamber. Twitter video captions make it easier for viewers to engage with your content, even if they’re among the 92% of people who watch social media videos with the sound off. Twitter video captions allow companies to appeal to a larger portion of the billions of people who are already watching Twitter videos on a daily basis. 
  • Wider Audience Reach: Apart from reaching viewers who prefer to scroll Twitter with the sound off, captions make it easier for viewers whose first language may not be English to follow and understand video content. Captions also make video content more mobile friendly, which is critical given the fact that roughly 93% of video consumption is happening on mobile devices. People watch videos on the go all the time, which makes it hard for brands to control the environment in which a user is viewing their content. Offering closed captions can help to ensure that none of the messaging gets lost, regardless of where or when a Twitter video is being viewed. 
  • Improved Accessibility: Adding closed captions to Twitter videos ensures your Tweets are inclusive of those users who may be Deaf or hard of hearing. They can also serve as an important tool for those viewers with ADHD or auditory processing disorders. It’s important to note, however, that not all captions are created equal when it comes to accessibility. Offering closed captioning alone does little to improve accessibility unless those captions are accurate. Even seemingly minor inaccuracies in a video’s captions can negatively impact the experience of those users who require captions in order to fully understand or engage with the content. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to find a professional captioning and transcription partner they can trust. Verbit’s captions, for example, are 99% accurate and can help support key accessibility guidelines like the ADA and WCAG, while reflecting your brand’s dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.
mobile phone displaying the twitter application in the app store

Subtitles vs. Captions: What’s the Difference?

Those looking to include subtitles on Twitter videos should familiarize themselves with the differences between subtitles and captions. One would typically choose to add subtitles to a video when content is being translated from one language to another. They provide a readable version of spoken text, but they don’t include any sound effects or other key audio descriptions.

Closed captioning, on the other hand, includes spoken text and other audio elements. It’s possible to add subtitles to Twitter video using the process outlined above. However, subtitles aren’t the fix to include viewers who are Deaf or hard of hearing because they do not include these other audio elements, making them a less comprehensive representation of the content. If the goal is to ensure an equitable viewing experience for all, offering accurate captions or captions which are fully translated and spell out the audio elements can make all the difference.

Maximize the Value of Your Video Content

The popularity of Twitter videos is climbing steadily upward. It’s no secret that producing effective, professional video content requires significant investments of time, labor and capital. In order to maximize the return on these investments, companies should take advantage of closed captioning on Twitter to improve their reach and the accessibility of their content.

Verbit offers a wide range of captioning and transcription solutions, plus additional tools like dubbing and audio description, to help businesses with their every Twitter video need. With Verbit, users can generate fast, accurate Twitter video captions, LinkedIn captions, Zoom captions and more at scale. Learn more about how equipping your social media content with captions, transcripts or other accessibility features can maximize the value of your video marketing initiatives. Plus, offering more inclusive brand experiences to all who come across your profile will be appreciated by everyone.