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Debbie Mayo-Smith: Facebook's new subtitle feature

The majority of Facebook users react badly to videos appearing with sound when they're scrolling their Facebook feeds. Photo / AP
The majority of Facebook users react badly to videos appearing with sound when they're scrolling their Facebook feeds. Photo / AP

How do you feel when you're scrolling through Facebook and you unexpectedly start hearing sound from a video playing. If you hate it, you're part of the 80 per cent of users that react badly to these unexpected videos with sound. So about a year ago Facebook brought out a tool that automatically created captions for video ads.

Guess what? Now they are extending this feature to all videos published by Pages.

If you want to share a video you know it can be very difficult for it to make sense without sound, especially if you want to get a marketing message across.

In the past to create subtitles you would have to create a text file with the captions, save it as a SRT file and import it into Facebook. Three months ago in October, Facebook started rolling out its auto-captioning feature to more and more Pages. Today many have it - although mine is lacking the new feature.

How the automatic captioning works is Facebook uses its voice-recognition software. I know, you're thinking uh-oh. From what I've read, in most cases, it gets it perfectly right.

However you can of course review and edit the automatically generated captions before publishing your video.

A huge plus is you can also add auto-captions to videos that you have already published.

How to find out if you have it - and to use auto-captions. Click on videos in your Facebook page. Click on one of your videos. Above it to the right you'll see 3 little dots. Click them and select Edit (or edit post). An edit video box opens. You'll see Basic, Captions, Advanced. Select Captions. If you have the new feature, you'll see a third option under captions called Generate with a little wond (Third after video captions, upload SRT File.

Isn't it amazing. All this free technology at our fingertips.

- NZ Herald

Debbie Mayo-Smith aka Ms Effective, gives speeches, seminars and trains on sales and personal productivity. Debbie helps you get more done in less time and increase profitability. Sign up for her monthly quick tip newsletter here.

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