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Facebook Announces Real-Time Captions for Facebook Live

Posted June 14, 2017
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Facebook has announced that they now support real-time captions for live broadcasts. Publishers using the Live API can now add close captioning to their broadcasts using third party captioning software. These captions can either be uploaded prior, or you can use third party live captioning software. 

Facebook is quickly becoming a premier platform for video content as the site has reported that video has become the sites most engaging form of content.  According to Facebook, the daily watch time for live videos has grown by more than 4x in the past year and 1 in 5 videos on Facebook is a live broadcast. 

Captions are important on Facebook not only because it makes your videos accessible to deaf and hearing-impaired people, but also because when your video appears on a newsfeed it is, by default, muted, so captions can draw a viewer in and give them and idea of what you are talking about. This makes it more likely that someone will click on your video, turn the sound on and watch all the way through. 

You can always put captions on a video after it is uploaded to the site, and Facebook can generate captions for you after the upload as well — but make sure to double check them as often they get a few words wrong.

You can read Facebook’s guide on enabling live captions here.

Here's Facebook announcement by Supratik Lahiri, Product Manager.

Today we announced that we now support the display of closed captions on Facebook Live broadcasts — a milestone in making video on Facebook accessible to all members of the community.

More video is being shared and watched on Facebook than ever before, and Live video has become one of the most engaging forms of content on Facebook. Over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x, and 1 in 5 Facebook videos is a Live broadcast.

With this update, publishers using the Live API can now add CEA-608 standard closed captions to Facebook Live broadcasts, opening up those videos to audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing. People who have their captioning settings turned on will then automatically see closed captions on Live broadcasts on mobile and desktop whenever they’re available.

Publishers who don’t create their own live closed captions via a CEA-608 data stream can work with third-party captioning companies to generate and insert real-time closed captions into their Facebook Live broadcasts. We’ve been developing and testing this capability at events like this year’s F8, in partnership with captioning services provider Ai-Media. We’re excited to allow publishers of all kinds to reach a broader audience with closed captions in Facebook Live


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