TikTok Auto-Captions are a Game Changer: Here’s Why

Imagine you are on your way to work or school on a busy train or bus; you're bored and take out your phone to scroll through TikTok. You reach into your other pocket only to realize you have left your headphones at home. You decide to TikTok on silent mode, the video you watch looks interesting, but without captions or headphones, you have no idea what is being said, so you scroll past it. This scenario is less than ideal for content creators or digital marketers who have curated their content for optimal engagement; this is where the importance of captions is highlighted. To keep people engaged, content needs to be accessible to all audiences. 

Early this year, TikTok introduced its auto-caption feature on their app; they stated that they wanted all users in their community to feel included and free to express and engage with the content on their app. So, if you find yourself without headphones or are hard of hearing or deaf, TikTok has made enjoying its content even more accessible. 

Auto-Captions Explained and Why They Matter

Auto-Captions on TikTok are subtitles that the app automatically generates so that viewers can read and listen to content. It is important to note that this is a feature creators need to select before uploading their content. Once the creator uploads or records the content on the app, and the creator selects the option to add captions, TikTok automatically transcribes and displays the captions on the video. Content creators also have the option to edit the captions on their videos, which is good because the app does not always accurately recognize what is being said. Additionally, TikTok also gives viewers the ability to turn captions on or off on videos that have been uploaded with captions on. 

Using captions on your content is not a requirement but if you are serious about growing your audience, it is essential to make your content accessible to various people. Inclusive design matters to brands; if you limit people's ability to connect with your brand or content, you are limiting your audience growth.  According to Forbes, your brand loyalty or content following is more likely to grow when people see inclusivity and diversity expressed in your brand or content. People are more likely to engage and are more likely to share or promote content that highlights diversity and inclusion. 

People connect with content and brands that reflect their human experiences- your audiences need to see their every day realities valued and acknowledged in your content in order to feel connected to it. Inclusive content has a positive effect on a larger and wider audience because people are wanting to engage and promote things that align with their values.  According to an article by FastCompany, 69% of brands that intentionally highlighted diversity and inclusion as part of their brand voice saw quantifiable profit growth. So, if you want your content to connect well with your audience, you need to make it as inclusive and easy to engage with. Aside from the importance of inclusivity, research shows that 85% of videos are watched without sound, so for optimal engagement, your content needs to cater to an audience that enjoys silent viewing- you need captions. 

How to Turn On Captions as a Creator

To turn captions on as a creator, you do so when uploading your video. The option to add captions to your video will be on the right side of your screen, along with the other editing options, such as filters and noise reducer. 

Once you have tapped on the option to add captions to your video, TikTok will automatically create the captions. To get an accurate transcription, you want to make sure your speech is as clear as possible in your videos and that there is little background noise as possible. But if TikTok doesn’t get your captions quite right, you can review and edit the captions before uploading your video. 

To edit your captions, click on the pencil icon to the right of the screen where it reads, “Captions”; this option will be available after TikTok has generated your captions. Once you have your captions the way you want them, hit save, and your captions will be ready to be displayed. 

 How to Turn Captions On or Off as a Viewer

As a viewer, you can turn captions on or off on the videos you watch on the app. To turn the captions capabilities on, you must enable the feature on your account; to do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and Privacy
  2. Tap on Display
  3. Then slide the button to green on Always show auto-generated captions.

To view a how-to video, click here.

Once you have turned the Always show auto-generated captions option on, you won't have to do anything else to have captions displayed on all videos watched on your account. 

To turn off the captions while watching a video, simply tap on captions while they are displayed on your screen, and the option to “Hide Captions” will up, tap that, and you’re done! To turn the caption back on, do the same as you did to turn them off. 

Try it Out

TikTok’s auto-caption feature makes it easier for content creators and marketing professionals to meet and cater to a larger and more diverse audience. TikTok’s auto-caption feature is one more tool making it easy for creators and marketers to boost their audience growth, brand voice, and viewership. If you’re ready to get started utilizing auto-captions and forming your own TikTok marketing strategy, Power Move Marketing can help! Click here to request a free quote today.


Author: Debbie G.