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TikTok Introduces Auto-Captions Feature For Users With Hearing Disabilities

While it is pretty much now a true fact that nothing can stop TikTok from reaching new heights, the company this week has come up with another new feature which now makes the app more easy to use for people with hearing disabilities.

The feature is titled “auto-captions” and upon being turned on, viewers will automatically get the speech of the video transcribed so that if any user has difficulty in listening, he or she can read the subtitles. For now, the auto caption feature supports American English and Japanese, but TikTok has promised to include more languages in the list in the upcoming months.

In order to access the auto-captions, users will get the option available on the editing page right after they are done uploading or recording a video. The feature would also one to edit the text so that all mistakes are being corrected before the content goes out in front of the public.

Although TikTok introduced the feature exclusively for accessibility purposes but auto-captions can also turn out to be a great option for users who would like to watch TikTok without the sound. We agree that such examples are always going to be very less but there are instances when we all are around people and wouldn’t like to create any disturbance.

Captions are also going to be great for users who may find it difficult to understand the language being spoken.

In a way, TikTok is inspired by the community of creators who have taken the route of captioning by adding text overlays to the videos in the past. The app also already offers third-party subtitling tools and with that, there has also been a text-to-speech trend - in which a Siri-like voice reads the text appearing on screen.

However, the implementation of the auto-captions tool is going to be different from the others as viewers will have the liberty to turn it on and off whenever they want. For turning off the captions, users would be required to open the share panel and then tap on the captions button to disable it.

With auto-captions, TikTok again has come in direct competition with social apps like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram that already offer such features to creators and that too with great accuracy and automation.

TikTok in the coming days will try to promote the feature among the creator community by encouraging them to make their videos with the new option so that in return their content also becomes accessible to a wide range of audiences available on the platform.

For those who don’t remember, auto-captions is not the only accessibility feature that TikTok has managed to introduce. In fact, in recent times, the company came up with creator warnings and also a photosensitivity feature in order to stop photosensitive epilepsy.

The executives of the Chinese entertainment app have said that they are currently busy doing accessibility assessments to find out the areas of improvement and for the similar matter they have also collaborated with The Deaf Collective which will help them to better support the deaf communities using the app.


Read next: For the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, TikTok has partnered up with RAINN and has announced a bunch of resources to to foster a supportive space for survivors

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