Clips, the new iOS app from Apple, offers iPhone users the ability to add live Open Caption subtitles to their video content and further underlines the fact that subtitles are essential for social media engagement.

How does it work?

The new free app, available on the AppStore, uses Apple’s speech to text technology which has previously been utilised for other iPhone features such as Siri.

By selecting one of six different caption styles, users can then have their spoken word overlaid on their video content in open caption format. The feature is available for both videos which are shot in real-time, through the app, or can be added to previously shot videos, as per our example below.

Though Clips comes with a host of other options for users including different filters, stickers and emojis, it’s the addition of live open captions that has captured the imagination of video publishers. Here’s why…

Increases social media engagement by up to 20%

With separate studies by Facebook and 3 Play Media establishing that adding subtitles to video content increases social media engagement by as much as 20%, leading content publishers from Downing Street to Ted Baker have been adding captions to their content in droves.

What’s more, Facebook report that a staggering majority of autoplay video content on their network, 82%, is watched with the volume off. Thus, if subtitles are added to a video, it stands a much greater opportunity of increasing engagement.

Find out more about increasing video engagement with Open Caption subtitles here.

Fulfilling accessibility obligations

If video content publishers aren’t drawn to the social media benefits of open captions then they should pay attention to the accessibility benefits. With 5% of the world’s population identifying themselves as either deaf of hard of hearing, adding subtitles to video content is morally essential.

Find out more about improving accessibility through subtitles here.

Localisation

Adding multilingual subtitles to content is a great, cost-effective, way to localise videos for different international territories. With the majority of customers, 75%, preferring to buy goods or services in their own language, localised video content is essential to maximise international video engagement.

In 2016, Ted Baker commissioned VoiceBox to undertake video translation of its content into eight different languages with multilingual subtitles.

Though Clips can understand 36 languages, it doesn’t have the ability to translate subtitles – yet.

Our verdict on Apple clip

The launch of Clips and the shift towards live open captions cannot be overstated. Whilst social media networks like Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook and Twitter all make video publishing easy across social media, Clips’s USP is its subtitle ability and the fact that it’s put accessibility and increased social media engagement front and centre of its offering.

Though the speech recognition isn’t perfect and, as with all technology in its infancy, there’s room for improvement – Clips has raised the bar for video content publishers across the board. After all, if regular iOS users are adding subtitles to their content then there’s no excuse for big brands and companies not to follow suit.

The professional alternative to clips

If you’re looking to increase social media engagement and fulfil accessibility with your video content, VoiceBox can offer a tailored solution to fit your needs. All of our services, Video SEO, video translation, subtitle translation and voice overs, are offered in over 200 languages.

Ben Dobson

Ben Dobson is Marketing Manager at VoiceBox. Ben has a passion for digital and social media marketing. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and surfing across the Gower peninsula.