Making sure TikTok is a place where everyone feels welcome and included sits at the heart of everything we do. When people feel included, they're more comfortable expressing themselves and when that happens we see amazing things – like epic #FoodTok recipes to viral sound challenges
We’re committed to fostering an inclusive app environment, and that means building products and tools that support our diverse community. Today, we’re introducing auto captions, a new feature that we hope will make TikTok more accessible for everyone.
How auto captions work
Auto captions automatically generate subtitles, allowing viewers to read or listen to content.
As creators make content, they can tap the autocaptions icon to automatically transcribe their speech into captions. Captions will then appear once the creator publishes their video. Creators are also able to edit the text of their captions once they're generated.
If a viewer wants to turn off captions, they can do so by opening the share panel, tapping the captions button, and setting captions to off.
This feature will initially be available in English.
Investing in accessibility
Auto captions builds on a number of features we've developed to make TikTok more accessible to everyone. Given the visual nature of our platform, we've designed a number of improvements, starting with features that help those with visual impairments. To date, our work on accessibility includes:
- An animated thumbnail that replaces animated thumbnails with static images.
- A creator warning that notifies creators when they produce videos with effects that could trigger photosensitive epilepsy.
- A photosensitivity feature allows users to skip photosensitive content, which can be harmful for people with epilepsy.
- A text-to-speech feature which converts text to voice.
Our goal at TikTok is to be accessible to all people, and we're committed to doing this work in the long-term. We're currently undertaking an accessibility assessment to identify additional areas for improvement, and we're increasing our outreach to organisations and communities with disabilities on TikTok to uplift their voices and make changes that better serve us all. By working with organisations like RNID, we want to raise awareness of the diversity and talent that exists within deaf and hearing loss communities and encourage all creators to caption their content to make it accessible for everyone. And RNID are helping us tell deaf people and people with hearing loss about the new auto caption feature, so more are encouraged to become TikTok creators and to provide the essential feedback to help us keep improving accessibility.
Rob Geany, RNID’s Team Lead for Campaigns and External Affairs, said: “At RNID, we’re here to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus. We’re pleased to see TikTok rolling out auto captions, which will help make content accessible for the 1 in 6 people in the UK who have hearing loss, many of whom will be TikTok creators. We want social media to be a place where deaf people and people with hearing loss can enjoy the same content as everyone else – and have the opportunity to raise deaf awareness. It’s great that TikTok have worked with deaf creators on this feature and we hope that their feedback and ideas will continue to help increase TikTok’s accessibility.”
TikTok creator, @DeafImmy, commented: "The auto captions have been a big game changer opportunity surrounding those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, making TikTok more accessible for those who were limited accessing TikTok videos. Involving the Deaf wide community and engaging more Deaf viewers onto the TikTok platform so they can also participate in trends too gives them, and me more chance of feeling equal within other creators."
TikTok creator, @_ThisisMyLine said: "The new TikTok auto captions feature is easy to use and allows you to caption your TikToks quickly and effectively. I believe this will encourage more Creators to use the feature making TikTok a more accessible platform."
"As an Autistic Creator, captioning my TikToks is important as some of the Neurodivergent community have auditory processing difficulties. Using the auto captions function allows me to continue to make my TikToks accessible for everyone who views them."
As we advance this work, we'll continue to share news and updates with our community in an effort to be transparent and share the progress made. TikTok is a place for everyone and we're working hard to better serve everyone in our community.