So, about captioning
This feels like a good point to talk about captioning and, in particular, auto-captions found in video conferencing apps like Teams or video content services like YouTube or TikTok.
- Just cause it is there doesn’t mean people use it.
Earlier this month, Instagram
announced auto-captioning. In both cases, it relies on the uploader to choose captions and add them to their post. However, looking at my feeds and the posts others re-share, not many people are doing it. This is the problem with it not being mandatory that no one will remember to do it. Another example of this is alt text for images on Twitter.
- Just cause it exists doesn’t mean it is good.
Excuse my language for a moment… Auto-captions fucking suck. I spend more time trying to decipher what the auto-captions meant than I do pay attention to the content: the miss acronyms, product names, insider info, speaker names, and inflection.
Here’s what I want you to do for the next week. I want you to keep your phone on permanent mute when watching any video for leisure — every app. Having captions on where they are available and turning on Live Captions
if you have an Android device.
You will be experiencing the way I consume content; I just live it every day.
This is important for creators and marketers. It is not just a step in your process to add some sort of accessibility; you have to make it useful. If you rely on auto-captions but tout that your content is accessible, you need to reassess your approach. Try it out for a week and find out how much of the internet is available to you.