Live content is the content of the future. That much is apparent from the way all major corporations like Facebook and Twitter have been intent upon making their platforms home to as much live content as possible via deals with media channels like the Bloomberg. Now, Facebook is attempting to nake live videos on its platform more accessible through captions.
There are tens of millions of deaf people in the world. A much larger number is hard of hearing. As such, introducing captions will make videos accessible to a large number of people who would otherwise not be able to enjoy them to the fullest.
Of course, the best solution would be to bring in automatic captions. However, the solution Facebook has opted for is such that publishers can create and stream captions either on their own, or through third parties.
This is so because while automatic captioning worka well enough with regular videos, they don’t quite cut the ice with live videos. Latency concerns mean that it is highly complicated to generate and stream captions in real time.
Speaking on the topic, Facebook product manager Supratik Lahiri, and director of accessibility Jeffrey Wieland said:
Making Facebook accessible to everyone is a key part of building global community.
Meanwhile, this will open up live videos (which today constitute around one fifth of all new videos being produced) to over 360 million hard of hearing people. Quite a large number I would say. Facebook is one of the only platforms to capitalize on them in this way and in doing so, offer them better accessibility options.