We’ve all been there: You’re scrolling through your page for yourself on your phone in silent mode when a video of someone talking appears. you want to know what they are saying, but there are no subtitles to read. and since your headphones are out of reach, you keep scrolling.
If you’re a social media creator or marketer, this isn’t the experience you want your followers to have. To capture people’s attention, your content must be accessible to all audiences. that’s where tiktok’s automatic subtitles come into play.
tiktok first introduced its automatic captions feature to accommodate people who are deaf or hard of hearing. but captions can and should be used as part of a larger initiative to create a better user experience for everyone on tiktok.
To help you get started, here’s how and why to add subtitles to your tiktok videos as a creator or viewer.
what are tiktok auto captions?
tiktok auto captions are subtitles that are automatically generated and displayed on a video so that a user can read the transcript of the audio.
Automatic captions make your videos more accessible and inclusive by allowing viewers to read or listen to the content. this is not only useful for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also for users who watch videos without sound.
Creators can enable this feature during the content creation process and even edit captions for accuracy before posting. viewers also have the option to turn subtitles on or off. Let’s go over how to configure this function for both cases.
how to use tiktok automatic subtitles
enabling subtitles on tiktok is pretty easy, whether you’re a creator or a viewer. here are the steps for both.
use tiktok subtitles as creator
Luckily for busy creators and social media managers, tiktok’s auto captions feature makes it easy to add and edit captions during the content creation process. this is how:
1. when uploading your video, tap the subtitles button on the right side of the screen.
tiktok will automatically transcribe any audio from the video. If you want to reduce the amount of text you’ll need to edit, do your best to upload videos with clear speech and as little background noise as possible.
2. Once tiktok generates your caption, review it for accuracy. did it pick up background vocals? Are you seeing too many filler words that you want to clean up?
Don’t worry. you can touch the pencil icon to edit the automatically generated subtitles.
3. hit save when you’re done editing and your subtitles are ready to display.
use tiktok subtitles as viewer
enabling subtitles on tiktok is not limited to creators. As a viewer, you also have the option to watch videos with subtitles on or off. follow these steps to get started:
1. If you want the captions to display automatically, the first step is to verify that the automatic captions feature is enabled on your account.
To do this, go to your settings and privacy and tap the accessibility tab. here you will see the option to always show automatically generated subtitles. make sure the button is on.
With this feature enabled, you won’t need to do any extra steps to view subtitles on tiktok videos that were created with automatic subtitles. But what if you’re watching a video and you change your mind about seeing subtitles? or what if the subtitles cover a part of the video you want to see?
don’t worry, even with this feature turned on, you still have the option to turn off subtitles on individual tiktok videos.
2. To turn off tiktok subtitles, tap the subtitles on the video you’re watching. the option to “hide subtitles” will appear.
3. if you want to turn the subtitles back on, just tap the subtitles button and they will reappear.
why are tiktok auto captions important?
First of all, tiktok’s automatic subtitles make your videos more accessible to a wide variety of audiences. and making your social media content inclusive is a standard all marketers should practice.
Are you required to add subtitles to your videos? technically no. but skipping this step can mean you’re excluding an audience that would otherwise enjoy and interact with your content. if you want more people to consume your tiktok videos, make the viewing experience as easy and enjoyable as possible by adding subtitles.
In addition to accessibility, subtitles help meet users where they are. Most people watch videos with the sound turned off, either by default or for privacy reasons. So it’s safe to assume that when your video appears on someone’s page for you, they may be watching it in silent mode and will continue to scroll if they don’t instantly understand the context. To keep people interested and increase viewership, your videos need subtitles.
plus, as a busy social media manager, anything that can save you time is a game changer. automatic subtitles take some of the work out of editing your tiktok videos. And with less time spent editing, you can focus on the fun parts of the process, like creating, planning, and interacting with followers. To save even more time, use a platform like Hootsuite to schedule and manage your content in one place.
you can even use hootsuite to manage and schedule your tiktok videos right from your phone:
tiktok auto subtitles faq
what does “auto generated subtitles” mean in tiktok?
auto-generated subtitles on tiktok are subtitles that are transcribed from the audio and displayed on your video.
how do i turn on auto captions on tiktok?
To activate the automatic captions feature in tiktok, go to your settings and privacy and tap the accessibility tab. Turn always show automatically generated subtitles on.
When should you use subtitles in your videos?
short answer? always. but if you want to limit it to begin with, here are some video formats that include a lot of conversation and would benefit from automatic captioning:
- a tutorial or instructional video
- questions and answers and interview-style videos
- videos of a day in the life
- explanatory videos
how do you fix automatic subtitles on tiktok?
Creators can fix auto-generated subtitles on tiktok during the creation process. after your caption is automatically generated, tap the pencil icon to edit.
how do i turn off subtitles on tiktok?
In Settings & Privacy, tap the Accessibility tab and turn off Always show auto-generated captions. You can also turn off subtitles on individual videos by tapping on the subtitles and clicking “hide subtitles”.
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