12 Feb 2016

Facebook’s new auto-captioning tool for videos

Good News for everyone!

When Facebook had launched its auto-play videos, there was a lot of hue and cry about the feature. Some liked the idea of watching videos on their timelines but a large user base criticized it, as videos consume a large amount of data and auto-playing videos meant you have little control over the data consumption. Owing to this, some users even deactivated the feature. Besides, it was a big challenge for advertisers to convey their message through the 30-second commercials, which by default has audio turned off if a user is scrolling through his/her timeline. To play the video, users are required to click on them.

That said, Facebook yesterday introduced new features for video ads on its website, which will allow advertisers to create content with a new approach. The new updates include a new caption tool, which will enable auto-captioning for the sound-off videos that usually has no or very minimal impact on the users if it contains a product's promotion. Until and unless a user is interested in the product, it's very tough for advertisers to make them watch the advertisement.

Earlier, advertisers had to embed the captions in the videos but now the new tool will do the job for them. The other updates include reporting and buying options for video ads. These tools will allow advertisers to evaluate the percentage of viewers who watched their videos with sound on.

How it does any good for users?

Facebook in one of its research said that mobile video ads begin playing loudly on the timeline lead to negative impact on the platform's image. And as much as 80% of users react negatively to the instant loud audio from the videos, which reduce the time they spend on the social networking site.

The auto-captioning feature will give them the option to understand the advertising content even if they don't want to listen to the embedded audio. Facebook in one of its report also mentioned that captions result in the increase of video view time by an average of 12%. And 55% of users who watch the first three seconds of an advertisement will watch the next 10 seconds. Besides, approximately 45% of the users will watch it until the end.

Technically it's a good way to tell the users what a video is all about if they don't have their headphones handy and they don't intend to play the video.

Moreover, advertisers will now work to make their content more mobile friendly, which is good for all the three entities - users, Facebook and the advertisers.


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