Accessibility.Blog

A Guide to Facebook Closed Captioning for Accessibility

January 30, 2019 10:50:00 AM EST

How important is it to create videos that are accessible to all audiences?

Consider this: Videos generate 12 times more shares than images and text combined, will generate the majority of traffic growth by 2021, and are used by 87% of online marketers in their digital media strategies.

While YouTube remains the leader in social video, Facebook is a close second. Over 500 million people watch Facebook videos daily, with video posts receiving nearly 60% more engagement than other post types. With such high interaction, ensuring that Facebook videos are accessible should be core to marketing strategies.

One of the key elements of video accessibility is the use of closed captions.

Who benefits from closed captioning?

The short answer is everyone. While they're tremendously important for the nearly 50 million Americans with some degree of hearing loss, it's also estimated that 85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute — another great example of how producing accessible content benefits people with and without disabilities.

How to add closed captions to Facebook videos

On a business page

  1. Upload your video either by selecting "Photo/Video" above your newsfeed, or by selecting "Videos" in the sidebar, then "Add Video."
  2. Select "Subtitles and Captions (CC)" in the sidebar.
  3. Select the video language.
  4. Three options: Automatically Generate, Write, or Upload. Facebook can automatically write the captions for you (but then you should review and edit for accuracy), you can write your own, or you can upload captions in the form of an .srt (sub rip) file.

To automatically generate captions:

  • Select "auto-generate."
  • Review the captions frame-by-frame, editing the text in each text box.
  • Be sure to hit "Save draft" when finished and you will return to the main video screen.

To write your own captions:

  • Select "Write."
  • Transcribe the captions yourself frame-by-frame, editing the text by selecting each box.
  • Be sure to hit "Save draft" when finished and you will return to the main video screen.

To upload your own:

  • You'll need an .srt file. (go to How to create an .srt file for instructions).
  • Important naming convention: For Facebook, you’ll need to save the file in the form of “filename.en_US.srt".

For all options, select "Save" on the main video screen to publish.

On a personal page

Automatic captioning isn't available for personal pages, but you can still add captions with an .srt file.

Upload your video by selecting "Photo/Video" above your newsfeed.

Share the video when it is ready and you've selected your desired settings.

Add captions by selecting "edit video" next to the comments box and uploading an .srt file.

How to create an .srt file

Tip: If you also upload your video to YouTube and caption it there, you can generate an .srt file when you download it. To learn how, read: YouTube Closed Captioning for Accessibility: Why and How.

  1. Open a text editor, like NotePad, where you'll write your SRT code.
  2. Write your code. There are three parts to SRT code: the sequence number, the timings, and the caption text.
  3. Save your file as a "plain text" file with the correct naming convention for Facebook: "filename_en_US.srt".

Sequence number indicates where the captions falls in the video, timings are broken down from hours to hundredths of a second, and caption text is the actual copy that will appear on-screen at that prescribed tie.

So a correct SRT code would look something like this:

1
00:00:18,000 –> 00:00:20,000
Text, text, text.
2
00:00:20,000 –> 00:00:22,000
Text, text, text.
3
00:00:39,000 –> 00:00:43,000
Text, text, text.

Visit Facebook's Help Center for additional instructions and details on their closed captioning.

Ready to make your videos, and all your content, accessible?

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