Google have announced their Google Chrome browser has a Live Caption feature (I.e captions for videos) now built in

It’s huge news for users and also content producers who spend hours captioning each and every video

It means that it automatically captions videos on the Google Chrome browsers

WHICH VIDEOS CAN IT CAPTION?
Basically any videos viewed in the Google Chrome browser – so think of all the places where you view video content

LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, any website you go on

AND PHONES?
Live Caption is available the latest version of Google’s browser for Windows, Mac and Linux

The live captioning feature has been available on devices like Google Pixel phones and Samsung’s Galaxy S20 since last year.

But there’s no mention of live captioning for Chrome on iOS.

WHY ARE VIDEO CAPTIONS IMPORTANT?
Google have introduced this feature for accessibility

So that people with hearing difficulties can view videos and have a good user experience

But also a lot of people watch videos without the sound on. Traditionally this was because they might be on the commute or in the office. Now it’s because they might be working from home and not want to interrupt others

Stats often reported are
– 85% of video on Facebook is watched without sound
– Research from Facebook claims that adding captions to your video can boost view time by 12%

SHOULDN’T THE CONTENT PRODUCER ADD CAPTIONS?
Yes and no

I’ve always maintained it should be the platforms themselves that add captions as a standard feature and this looks like the start of it

Instagram is looking at launching captions for it’s Instagram Stories feature as it has on other areas of the platform

Facebook is doing the same

Adding captions is possible, but can take time especially with longer videos

For shorter talking heads videos I recommend Clips which is available on the Appstore


HOW TO SWITCH GOOGLE LIVE CAPTIONS ON DESKTOP

1. Google Chrome Settings
2. Advanced Settings
3. Accessibility
4. Switch on

Here’s how to switch Live Captions on Android

HOW ACCURATE ARE THE CAPTIONS?
It’s pretty good – occasional there are inaccuracies due to accents / non dictionary names etc like any platform

But for it’s initial launch it seems like a great feature

It can even live caption some songs when the music isn’t too distracting – that shows how robust it is

DOES IT CAPTION IN EVERY LANGUAGE
At the moment it’s just English

According to Android Police, which released a report about the progress of Live Caption’s arrival on Chrome OS, Google’s feature could soon add support for transcribing French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish

WILL THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ADD LIVE CAPTIONS?
It makes sense for accessibility and usability that the likes of LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter add live captions as a standard feature on their platforms

Videos are a huge part of what they offer and I’d expect all of these platforms to add the feature within the next 12-18 months (if not before)

Until then – where possible add captions on your own videos

WILL YOU USE THIS FEATURE?

NEED HELP WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA?
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