YouTube has announced some new developments in video captioning tools, making it easier for more channels to add caption text to videos, noting that it is now providing automatic English live captioning for all content creators.
Until now, automatic captions were only available for channels with more than 1,000 subscribers, and until then, access to them was limited. This change, along with some future improvements, the company details in its blog post, should help make the platform more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Some of these updates also include making live automatic captions available for 12 other languages instead of just English (including Japanese, Turkish, and Spanish). And the ability to add multiple audio tracks to a video to support multiple languages and audio descriptions for people with limited vision.
Also, the platform now opens the option to all broadcasters, giving content creators more ways to increase the accessibility of their content.
Live auto captions can be enabled within YouTube Studio via broadcast settings. As a result this adds another element to streams, and provides more ways to connect with different audiences and viewers.
The platform also indicates that it plans to add more automatic caption languages in the future.
YouTube is also expanding its subtitle options to mobile devices. The option is currently available via the desktop, where users can translate the available caption tracks into another language.
And this same feature is soon being added to the mobile app as well. This adds more capacity for viewers to consume content in their native language.
In addition, the platform also allows the ability to search in video texts. This allows viewers to find specific clips of videos based on the caption text.
“Users in searchable texts can view and search for texts to get the most relevant information,” YouTube said. This allows them to find the most interesting information without watching the entire video.
This can provide more functionality in monitoring key signals, and tracking specific elements of clips. Moreover, YouTube is also planning to bring the same functionality to the mobile app in the future.
These are useful add-ons, with functionality that can facilitate different use cases, and help improve broader accessibility.