Twitter to Add Automated Captions to Audio and Video

Twitter is engaged on including automated captions to audio and video as half of a bigger effort to make the platform extra accessible.

In an announcement, the corporate says it was just lately made conscious it’s falling brief when it comes to being inclusive of the disabled group.

Back in July, Twitter started testing tweets that embrace audio solely. Having no captions, or another type of take a look at, voice tweets weren’t accessible to all Twitter customers.

“Testing voice Tweets earlier this summer made us realize how much work we still need to do as a company, and we made a commitment to make Twitter more inclusive for the disabled community – creating a dedicated team to focus on greater accessibility, tooling, and advocacy across all of our products.”


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Twitter is dedicated to making itself extra accessible, beginning with the launch of a number of initiatives.

Automated Captions

Automated captions will likely be added to audio and video by early 2021. Twitter says work has already begun on the characteristic, however clearly there’s nonetheless extra to do.

This ought to help with making audio and video extra accessible to everybody.

Automated captions are under no circumstances excellent, see YouTube for example of that, however they’re actually a step up from not having any captioning in any respect.


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Perhaps Twitter’s automated captioning will likely be made higher in some way. The firm says it’s working with individuals with disabilities to collect suggestions on new prototypes.

The suggestions might assist make Twitter’s automated captioning higher than your common voice-to-text translator. Although it will likely be a while earlier than we see the top end result.

Twitter could be sensible to go the YouTube route of permitting each guide and automated captioning.

YouTube customers have the choice to present their very own subtitles to movies they add.

If no captioning is supplied, then YouTube will default to automated captions.

At one time YouTube was experimenting with a characteristic known as ‘community contributions,’ which allowed anybody to contribute subtitles to a video.

However, due to lack of use and studies of spam and abuse, YouTube is shutting down group captions on the finish of this month.

Here’s extra in regards to the different initiatives to make Twitter extra accessible.

New Teams Dedicated to Accessibility

Twitter is introducing two new groups to its firm that may give attention to making the positioning extra accessible.

The Accessibility Center for Excellence

This new workforce will assist make elements of Twitter extra accessible by setting targets, driving progress, and consulting with teams throughout core enterprise features.

This is an all-encompassing initiative that may enhance accessibility in all places from Twitter’s workplace areas, to advertising and marketing and communications methods, to authorized and coverage requirements, and extra.

The Experience Accessibility Team

This workforce will work with Twitter’s product workforce on new and present options.

The function of the Experience Accessibility workforce is to present assets and instruments that contribute to better accessibility on the service.


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They’ll work along side the Accessibility Center for Excellence to guarantee Twitter is held accountable in figuring out and filling accessibility gaps in its merchandise.

Longer-Term Plans

Twitter says these initiatives are simply the muse for a longer-term plan to make investments broadly in media accessibility.

“We’ve partnered with external groups and over the coming months we’ll be gathering feedback from people with disabilities via interviews, surveys, and doing remote usability studies of new prototypes.”


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