TikTok improves its accessibility with automatically generated captions


At a time when we all feel separated, bringing people together in whatever way we can is more important than ever. Content accessibility is vital to this, and TikTok knows it. In a push for inclusivity, the social media giant is introducing auto captions to help those with hearing impediments better enjoy their time on the app.

TikTok is “Investing in accessibility”

TikTok explains how the feature works in a news post. Auto captions as a feature is pretty self-explanatory, and is already used on a couple of other platforms. As a video plays, captions are, you guessed it, automatically generated. Content creators can toggle the feature for their videos in the editing menu after they’ve recorded or uploaded something to the platform. The text is then transcribed and displayed on their videos. The editing tool is accompanied by a little prompt explaining why they may want to use the feature. Creators can also go into the captions and edit them manually if something got garbled in the transcription.

Viewers can then choose whether or not they want captions on. Captions are currently available in English and Japanese, but additional languages will be added later on.

This is the latest addition to TikTok’s handful of accessibility features, including animated thumbnails, a text-to-speech feature, and a feature that warns creators if their content may trigger viewers with epilepsy, which pairs nicely with a handy feature that lets epileptic users skip potentially triggering content.

Accessibility appears to be a chief concern over at TikTok, granting it potential to add to its already gigantic user base. The news post goes on to say that TikTok’s team is, “currently undertaking an accessibility assessment to identify additional areas for improvement,” and is working with communities with disabilities on the platform to ask what else they think can be done to improve their experience.

It’s an admirable endeavour, and this latest feature and news post bodes well for future developments of the same kind.


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