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
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
4. Switch on
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?
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