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Introduction of Closed Captions to TikTok.

When downloading social media applications, most users find there are very few limitations that affect how they use and interact with the application, however some people with disabilities can experience limitations while interacting with applications. With social media apps, users are encouraged to express themselves freely and creatively. A large part of the content is now achieved with the use of short videos. This content may affect how people interact and use the features within the app, leading to some users not experiencing the full capability. Social media companies are starting to look at how users on their apps interact with current available features, in order to understand where they can make these apps more inclusive to all.

TikTok, a video-based media app, has started carrying out accessibility assessments to highlight areas of improvement to make it more inclusive. They started by adding two features in regard to photosensitivity:

From the results of their previous accessibility assessments, TikTok has introduced a new feature that allows for subtitles to be created automatically, on the piece of video being uploaded by creators. This feature will automatically transcribe what is being said in the video, to generate captions and display them while showing the video. Previously, if a creator wanted to add subtitles to videos, they would have had to add captions through the text feature and manually transcribe what they had said.

Before this feature, people viewing the videos had no option to turn on any type of captioning and were dependant on others adding the text to their videos. Viewers now have the option in the accessibility menu, to turn on the closed captions feature which will show captions on videos, where they are available. TikTok have added this feature into their app and at the moment the auto captions support American English and Japanese. They are currently working on adding additional languages in the coming months.

TikTok are carrying out further accessibility assessments and liaising with content creators and app users to identify additional areas that can be improved, in order to make their app as accessible and inclusive in all areas.

For further information on the introduction of closed captions to TikTok, click here:

Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make facilities or services more accessible and inclusive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail [email protected].