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The New Facebook Feature Helping Boost Engagement


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JUNE 20, 2017:

This month, Facebook launched closed captions for Live videos – to use the feature, you can either activate the platform’s Live API or create your own externally. But how can something as simple as adding text to your Live videos help increase user engagement? It’s all about accessibility.

Loud & Quiet
What happens when your audience is in an environment where they can’t watch video with sound? Well, now they don’t have to miss out on your Live video, because they can follow what’s being said via the captions. According to Media Cause: ‘very few [users] opt to turn the volume on. In fact, Facebook reports that captioning a video increases average video view time by 12%.’

Seen & Heard
The beauty industry is becoming more and more inclusive, so why not extend that to your audience reach? ‘Nearly 360 million people have disabling hearing loss worldwide, which is nearly 5% of the global population,’ states Business Insider, who calculate that Facebook’s Live video captions will impact 5% of its 1.3 billion daily active users – that’s 65 million users worldwide.

How It’s Done
Many creators already add text or graphics to videos to not only enhance the visual content, but also emphasize their message without the need for sound. But Facebook’s feature is not automated, so there are few things to remember before you start creating your own Live video captions…

  1. Three-Second Rule: Facebook defines a view as three seconds or longer – make sure you grab attention right from the start with both your visuals and corresponding captions.
  1. Easy Reader: Text should appear as it’s being voiced; don’t let it appear too early or hang around too long after the words have been said. Whether or not your user is watching with sound, this can be a disconcerting experience.
  1. Keep It Brief: Limit captions to one or two short lines at a time. It’s common practice to break up sentences – our top tip is to do so at a breath or natural break, usually defined by a comma or other punctuation mark.
  1. Speak My Language: If only a universal tongue existed! You could consider creating captions in a variety of languages to really increase engagement globally. Translating text is much cheaper than recording a voiceover in another language.

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