Facebook has laid a growing emphasis on their unicorn, Facebook Live, and betting big has paid off for the company with Live making up for one of five videos on the platform. Today, Facebook took a significant step towards making Live friendly for users with hearing impairment by introducing closed captioning on Facebook Live videos.
Considering the fact that more than 360 million people around the world suffer from hearing loss, closed captioning on Facebook Live videos is a step in the right direction from the world’s largest social network, nearing a user base of more than 2 billion, a major chunk of the worldwide population.
“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.” And companies that “..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.” writes Facebook Product Manager, Supratik Lahiri.
Facebook has been testing the same since the F8 Conference this year in partnership with Ai-Media, a captioning service provider. Another closed captioning service provider, Telesetream, also remains available for Live captions on your videos.
Users who wish to see closed captioning with their videos will have to turn on their captioning settings. Over the past year, Facebook Live videos have found a lot of takers, with the watch time for Live Videos growing 4 times, and Closed Captioning on Facebook Live videos is being termed as a "milestone in making video on Facebook accessible to all members of the community."
Facebook is not the first platform to introduce closed captioning, with YouTube introducing the service back in 2006, and has even added the feature for Live and more languages.
As revolutionary as the feature is, it is still prone to error and Mark Zuckerberg experienced that first hand when the Live Video broadcast of his commencement speech at Harvard, malfunctioned, and had him mocked for quite sometime on Twitter. Source
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) May 25, 2017
So, there is obviously room to improve and make closed captioning on Facebook Live videos better as it starts picking up with their users, eventually following in YouTube's path, and offering more languages.
If you are looking for more information about Closed Captioning on Facebook Live Videos, you can download a How To guide here.