Facebook allows you to provide closed captioning (CC) on videos. Why should you use closed captioning on Facebook?

  • Law: All non-textual content require alternative text in order to aid those who cannot see or hear the media.
  • Searchable: Alternative text assists with Facebook search results by collecting important keywords in your video content.
  • Convenient: Most social media users are watching videos without the sound on, so closed captioning and subtitles encourage larger viewership.

Best Practices

Videos designed on Facebook that get the most viewership use the following:

  • Background sound indicating the mood for users that may turn sound on. It is not necessary for the message, but can be helpful to those who want to convey mood.
  • Closed captioning for dialogue. This is require when dialogue is present, since it conveys the message.
  • Subtitles to describe the message in storybook fashion.
  • Duration is less than three (3) minutes long.

Closed captioning is not subtitles. Subtitles are displayed on the video and cannot be turned off. When using subtitles, make sure you have a link to the full text transcription on your post. This could be to the original YouTube post or a webpage with more information (e.g. news article, press release, event page).

Adding Closed Captions to Facebook

Depending on time and budgetary resources, you may either do the closed captioning yourself (e.g. your staff, interns, or volunteers) or hire a transcription service to transcribe and synchronize the audio on your video for you. Contact Web Services for assistance and approved transcription service.

Facebook is rolling out an interface similar to YouTube’s for automatically creating and then editing the closed captions. For users without this new interface, Facebook require you submit an .srt file. If you use YouTube to assist you with the closed captions, there is an easy way to pull those captions into Facebook:

In YouTube:

  1. Edit the video
  2. Go to Subtitles/CC
  3. Go to the Actions dropdown menu and select “.srt”
  4. Rename the file to whatever-filename-you-want.en_US.srt

In Facebook:

  1. Edit the video
  2. Scroll to Captions and upload whatever-filename-you-want.en_US.srt