Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Video Captioning

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Let's make it clear: Your Facebook videos really, really need captions that play along with the video. Captions are key to engagement, and they are only getting more important, so if you don't know how to add them, it's a very important skill to learn.

Around 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, and a portion of those watched with sound is because the sound the turned on by accident. People barely tolerate autoplay videos, and they certainly don't tolerate an autoplay video with sound. As a result Facebook is speedily moving toward a model that only shows videos without sound and makes people jump through a hoop or two to turn on the audio. This obviously makes visuals extremely important, but it also means that you need subtitles if there's any audio in your video.

Fortunately, we can help! Here's how to make sure that your Facebook videos have the captions that they need.

Create SRT File

The SRT file is the file that holds all your caption information. You need to be familiar with it, and preferably know how to make or change one when necessary.

At first glance, an SRT file looks very basic. It's a simple text file that you can make nearly anywhere, as long as you know how to do it and save it appropriately. You can create these files in Notepad, WordPad, or whatever text editor is handy. For details on how to build an SRT file, you can look here. Basically, every time you want a caption to show up, you create a number, the exact timeframe in which you want the caption to appear, and the plain text of the caption itself. Each new caption is separated by a blank line. It makes a lot more sense looking at the simple code, so we encourage you to study it. After a little practice you can probably create captions without even thinking about it, as long as you have the original video to reference (if you aren't the one editing the video, then it should probably be your video editor who masters this particular skill).

Name Your File Carefully

SRT files must be named carefully or Facebook won't know what to do with them. Specifically, they must be labeled based on what language they are in. If your subtitles are in English, for example, here's what you do: Save the file under "All Files" with the extension ".srt" and if you are given an option for encoding, choose ANSI (you would choose UTF-8 if it is another language). Finally, follow Facebook's naming convention for English (or another language), which would be "en_US.srt" and then you're ready to go! The good news behind this procedure is that you can easily add other SRT files with different languages, and Facebook will automatically show whatever language is appropriate based on Facebook settings, so it's an easy way to reach multiple languages at once.

Upload Your File to Facebook

With your file properly named, head over to the video and select options while hovering over the title. Choose to "Edit this Video," and look for the option that says "Upload SRT Files." Here, you will want to Choose your SRT file, and select "Save." There! Captions should now be added

Looking for an Easier Way? Try Automated Captions

Facebook does give you the option to upload automated captions. Why didn't we start with this? Because it only works with certain types of videos, it only works in English, and it's not as reliable as doing it manually. Plus, it's a really idea to learn how to make an SRT file for other platforms. However, if you want to try out automated captions on Facebook, here's how to do it.

Always Check to See How the Video Looks

Remember, check your captions after uploading to make sure everything looks all right and no mistakes go unnoticed!

 

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Aleks Vizulis

As operations manager at 21 Handshake, I bring an analytical perspective to the discussion table. My vision is to take projects from 'just strong' to superb. Often you will find me capturing behind the scenes photos in the 21 Handshake office or at a clients location. I play a fierce round of 18 during warm weather and catch me on the slopes during the other months of the year!

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