Facebook Adds Captioning Capability to Live Videos

Facebook is adding the ability to display subtitles in videos that users broadcast live through the social network. However, these are not subtitles automatically generated by Facebook, but those from third-party providers.

Companies that post Facebook Live videos can provide a subtitling mechanism themselves or have it done by another provider such as Telestream, as long as the captions are made in CEA-608 standard. The captions should make Facebook Live videos accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing, Facebook says.

Users must first turn on subtitles in the settings to see them. In addition, they are only available if the creator of the video has set it so, so not every Facebook Live video is captioned.

Facebook claims that one in five videos posted on Facebook is now live, while the use of the service is said to have quadrupled in the past year. Facebook presented live video to all users early last year.