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TikTok adds automatic captions for user-created videos

The video-based social media platform begins automatically generating subtitles for posts.

New TikTok feature should be helpful to the deaf and hard of hearing.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Tiktok introduced a new auto caption feature on Tuesday that can automatically generate subtitles for your videos -- a useful accessibility feature for the deaf or hard of hearing and anyone trying to use the app with the sound off.

"Inclusivity is important because when people feel included, they're more comfortable expressing themselves and engaging with their community," Stephanie Hind, the TikTok US manager for creator management and operations, said in a company blog post. "As we continue working to make TikTok ever more accessible, today we're introducing auto captions, a new feature to help people who are hard of hearing or deaf better use and enjoy TikTok."


You'll find the option to add auto captions to your TikToks in the editing page, and you can tweak the text as needed, too.


When users create and upload a video to TikTok, the app will automatically generate captions for the content and ask if you'd like to display them. Once they're generated, you can edit the text of those captions as needed.

"Captions added by creators are part of the video content, and in the event a viewer wants to turn them off they can do so by opening the share panel, tapping the captions button, and setting captions to off," the company's blog said.

The feature will initially be available in English and Japanese, with support for other languages promised in the coming months. TikTok adds that it's encouraging all creators on the platform to keep accessibility in mind when they post and advising users to consider auto captions along with other accessibility-minded approaches, such as text-to-speech and photosensitivity warnings.

"Remember: Making your videos more accessible allows you to reach more people globally and support communities that may not consume content in the same way," the platform's accessibility page reads.

Correction, 2:23 p.m. PT: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of TikTok's US manager for creator management and operations. Her name is Stephanie Hind.