On Tuesday, Tiktok introduced a new auto caption feature that can automatically generate subtitles for your videos — a useful accessibility feature for the deaf and hard of hearing, or for anyone trying to use the app with the sound off.
“Inclusivity is important because when people feel included, they’re more comfortable expressing themselves and engaging with their community,” noted Stephanie Lind, the TikTok US manager for creator management and operations in a company blog post. “As we continue working to make TikTok ever more accessible, today we’re introducing auto captions, a new feature to help people who are hard of hearing or deaf better use and enjoy TikTok.”
Here’s how the feature works. Whenever you create and upload a video to TikTok, the app will automatically generate captions for your content and ask if you’d like to display them. Once they’re generated, you can edit the text of those captions as needed.
“Captions added by creators are part of the video content, and in the event a viewer wants to turn them off they can do so by opening the share panel, tapping the captions button, and setting captions to off,” the company’s blog notes.
The feature will initially be available in English and Japanese, with support for other languages promised in the coming months. TikTok adds that it’s encouraging all creators on the platform to keep accessibility in mind when they post, and advising users to consider auto captions along with other accessibility-minded approaches, like text-to-speech and photosensitivity warnings.
“Remember: Making your videos more accessible allows you to reach more people globally and support communities that may not consume content in the same way,” the platform’s accessibility page reads.