We talk to you regularly about the increased interest in subtitles. How to burn them etc. For example, for deaf and hard of hearing people, foreign profiles. Today, many video platforms and social networks are considering automatic subtitling. This is the case for instance of Twitter, which will add automatic subtitles. We shed some light here on the challenges of this new feature.
To begin with, according to Frandroid.com, to « make the platform more accessible, Twitter is working on automatic captioning of videos and audio tweets posted on the social network. A new feature that should be available by early 2021. And that’s for everyone! »
In fact, using voice, Twitter has understood not only the importance that voice will take on in the coming years, but also its close link with digital accessibility. Twitter has had an accessibility policy for its platform for a long time. However, the social network with the famous bluebird faced some difficulties with the impossibility for people with hearing loss to hear correctly the audio of a video or sound.
In addition, as Iphonesoft.fr expresses it, Twitter has also added « the description of topics in top tweet for a better understanding of the subjects ».
Today, Twitter explains that it is working on adding automatic subtitles for videos and sounds published on its platform. This innovation was born in the minds of user experience managers when they launched audio tweets for iOS users – with Apple branded devices.
While the emergence of audio tweets is clearly beneficial for all types of audiences – and all the more so for people with visual impairments, it has still shown certain limits in terms of accessibility.
Indeed, managers have realized that audio tweets are becoming inaccessible content for people with hearing impairments. Therefore, in this priority of accessibility for Twitter, it is necessary to go even further.
Adding subtitles is therefore a second step. Automatic subtitles will be integrated into audio and video on Twitter by 2021. This should be the beginning of a long series for the social network :
« This lays the foundation for a longer-term roadmap that invests heavily in media accessibility for our entire service », according to Twitter officials.
However, what is important to remember is that like many innovations that are designed in terms of accessibility, in the end it is a step forward that everyone can benefit from. Indeed, more and more content on the web and social networks is being consumed without sound because it is much faster and more convenient to read subtitles directly. No need to take out your headphones, no need to bother your friends and family at home, on public transport… Adding subtitles – automatic or not – has many advantages.
In fact, as you will have understood, it becomes a beneficial necessity both from an accessibility point of view as well as from a daily convenience point of view. Indeed, each user must be able to access all types of content according to his or her preferences – auditory or visual.
Moreover, in terms of translation and international content accessibility, subtitling is also important. For example, it is common knowledge that French people are not mostly good at English. It is therefore to be hoped that Twitter will integrate French – and other foreign languages – into its subtitling system. In the long term, English should obviously not be the only possible language for subtitles… This is what YouTube has already anticipated by offering multiple languages for its automatic subtitles.
For Twitter, automated subtitles are called « legends », so automated legends. And the functionality is still in its infancy. Improvements are still to come.
For example, according to Arobasenet.com, « automated captions are far from perfect – see YouTube as an example of this – but they are certainly a step forward from having no captions at all. »
It is obvious that each platform still needs to improve the quality of its automatic subtitles generated by an AI. However, the efforts and innovation are clearly there:
« We have partnered with external groups and over the next few months we will be gathering feedback from people with disabilities through interviews, surveys and remote studies on the usability of new prototypes. » Twitter
Twitter’s automated subtitling is therefore carried out in close connection with its community – including people with disabilities. So this whole process is underway, but it takes some time.
In fact, Twitter is inspired by YouTube in this addition of subtitles and automatic subtitles for content broadcast on its platform. And since both have limitations, it makes sense for Twitter to anticipate and follow a good direction.
To meet some of the challenges in this area, YouTube has given its users the opportunity to contribute to the platform. To provide their own subtitles to the videos – which was the “community contributions” feature – that they view. And in the case where there is no feedback, where human users do not contribute directly to the subtitles, YouTube leaves its own automatic subtitles by default.
Nevertheless, this has raised two major problems in the use of automation here:
Because of these two problems, YouTube has recently shut down the addition of subtitles from the community.
If Twitter needs feedback it is because the platform understands that automation has its limits and is perfectible. Automatic subtitles and the associated automatic speech recognition are an excellent innovation but still have some limitations.
Not to mention that it is not the job of the users. They don’t have the time nor do they have to do this. Adding automatic and manual subtitles is a job for professionals.
At Authôt, we are experts in subtitling. We have three poles to ensure complete and expert management from A to Z for the addition and control of your subtitles.
We have a synchronization service with an operational team that manually works on the subtitle in order to calibrate it correctly to the video. Subtitle files are delivered in the format of your choice (.srt, .vtt .ass).
In addition, if you want the subtitles to be inserted directly on your video, we offer our overlay service. We then inlay or « burn » the subtitles in the video.
Finally, our translation service allows you to make your videos accessible all over the world thanks to multilingual subtitling. You can fully rely on our network of professional native translators to translate your audio or video files. Video subtitling services can be customized to suit your projects and needs. This is a considerable gain for the accessibility of your audio and video content.
Twitter understands the need to add automatic subtitles that are mastered, and it’s not the only one. Don’t wait to surf on this trend too.
All in all, this news from Twitter is clearly a breakthrough in terms of accessibility and subtitling that we should hear a lot about by 2021. In the meantime, if you are a company, a media and you want to add expert subtitles to your content, don’t hesitate to contact our team now!
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