Captioning can be a really effective tool when you’re wanting to upload videos or images to Facebook.

Example of subtitles Charade 1963 1Captions used in a movie from the 60s | Stanley Donen via Wikipedia Commons

 

Captioning has come a long way since it was first introduced to videos. Originally it was there for the hearing impaired, to translate different languages or simply to make it easier to take in what the people were saying on screen. Captioning for video these days is a highly effective way of engaging your audience online, especially since Facebook has its auto video play feature and people are consuming on the go. 

One great example of a company that utilises the power of captioning is Al Jazeera’s offshoot AJ+ who revolutionised video content on Facebook by cleverly putting out videos that you can watch either with sound on or sound off and still get the same information on. 

Facebook introduced autoplaying videos. Think about how you use social media – often scrolling wile you’re in a public place, sometimes without headphones. You’ve probably started seeing more and more videos come up that you can watch silently because they have been captioned. There have been numerous studies that keep coming back with similar results: captioning videos on Facebook increases viewership.

AJ+ Caption their videos in their entirety if they upload them to Facebook which is effective given that Facebook autoplays videos. They do not however caption videos in their entirety if they are uploading them onto their own website or to Youtube. Take a look at this Buzzfeed video (left) which partially captions its videos to increase audience engagement. You could still watch it with the sound off, however, naturally more dialogue and interaction will happen with sound on.

There are websites floating around that let you add captions to your own videos. Amara is an excellent example that you should check out. It’s no surprise that social media is changing the face of journalism.

Resources

Take a look at this article on who uses captions.
Facebook gets it! Find out how to automatically add closed captions on videos you upload to facebook.

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