Video captions on Facebook are important, particularly on ads, because Facebook videos, by necessity, autoplay without sound. The lack of audio reduces an advertisers capacity to grab attention in the News Feed, and with research showing that 47% of the value in a video campaign is delivered in the first three seconds, any reduction in potential impact is significant. Even more, Facebook's own research shows that 41% of videos are meaningless without sound, largely because content hasn't traditionally been developed with auto-mute in mind.
Such findings are what prompted Facebook to implement auto-generated captions - and now they're looking expand that capacity beyond ads, with all Pages to be given access to automated captions for any video they post, according to TechCrunch.
As you can see, access to the automated captions tool will be available in the settings for each individual video you post - you can access this on your own Facebook Page by going to the 'Publishing Tools' tab, then selecting 'Video Library' in the left sidebar.
Once there, you'll see a listing of all your videos - hover over any of these and you'll get an 'Edit Video' prompt.
Click on that and you'll be taken to a settings screen for that specific video - select the 'Captions' tab and alongside the option to upload your own captions, you'll see a new option to auto generate them.
Audio recognition is never 100%, but Facebook's internal testing has shown that captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%. And given that it's free - both in terms of cost and hassle - it's worth trying it out to see what results you get.
Once you've added automated captions, you can edit them, section-by-section, with Facebook providing a review option before you save them to the video.
Image via TechCrunch
And depending on their accuracy, the caption tool may also assist in content re-purposing, making it easy to create a full transcript to post alongside your video content, which can provide another way for users to access your content, while also helping with your SEO efforts.
It's a helpful tool and one which could save a heap of time and deliver great benefits. The option will also develop over time as Facebook continues to advance it's audio recognition tools.
Not all Pages have access to automated captions just yet, so if you're not seeing the option on your Page, sit tight - Facebook says it is being rolled out to all users soon.