TikTok is looking to improve accessibility in the app, by implementing auto captions by default on all videos, as of next month.
As you can see in this notification, shared by Jonah Manzano, TikTok is now alerting users to the change.
TikTok already enables users to switch on auto captions to ensure that more users can engage with their content. But now, they’ll be enabled on every clip, with the optional toggle to “Allow auto-captions” to be removed from the upload process.
As per TikTok:
“You can modify the captions authorization status for any video that has already been posted before November. After which, all eligible videos in supported languages will have captions by default. This ensures that TikTok is inclusive and everyone can enjoy the app without language limitations.”
TikTok further notes that creators will still be able to edit and delete and captions after posting. But you won’t be able to opt-out, which will mean that a lot more TikTok clips will now have text captions available.
Which is a positive step for accessibility, both for users with hearing difficulties, and for regular users that are watching TikToks in sound off situations.
Really, it should be the default option for all apps where auto captioning is available, though there are also processing and capacity considerations to factor in. Well, really, just processing, as the caption code itself is fairly lightweight. Automatic captions are also available in several languages on YouTube and Facebook/Instagram, though not for all videos as yet, and they’re not active by default.
Which, I suspect, will become the norm, broadening the range of content that all users can access. TikTok’s implementing auto captions for English language videos, with other languages to follow.