The Facebook Video Tweak That Could Seriously Increase Your Views

More than 500 million people use Facebook to watch videos every single day.

(And the majority of social media marketers already use video for their marketing!)

With so many people watching and creating, you might wonder sometimes:

What can you do to make people want to watch YOUR Facebook videos?

If it’s really that competitive, how do you stand out?

There’s actually one little tweak that’ll make your Facebook videos a LOT more watchable.

It uses one of Facebook’s most effective video editing features, but also one of its most easily missed – so today, we’re taking a closer look at how you can use it to seriously increase your videos’ potential!

Facebook’s auto-caption tool (and why it matters so much)

In 2017, Facebook rolled out a feature that should look pretty familiar to YouTube aficionados: a way to automatically generate captions for your videos, and edit them right inside Facebook.

And while that may not sound like a big deal, it’s a huge leap forward in terms of making your videos way more watchable in a short amount of time.

Here’s why.

First of all, about 85% of all Facebook video is watched on mute – so if your video only makes sense if you’re listening to it, it won’t make sense to most people without captions.

(And in fact, most videos DO need sound to be understood. According to Facebook, 76% of video ads can’t be understood without sound!)

If you use video to show off your products, it’s even MORE important that people can understand what’s going on without sound. 90% of people say that product videos help them make purchasing decisions – so yours had better be watchable on mute!

Here’s an example of why this is so important.

Ask yourself: which one of these is easier to understand?

FB Caption Comparison.gif

(If you said the one on the left, congrats on being able to read lips. That’s actually pretty cool.)

Forcing users to watch your video with sound makes them much less likely to watch at all. 

Facebook knows it – and that’s exactly why they offer you a free, simple tool that makes it easier to get better results!

Ready to see how it works?

How to use Facebook’s automatic video captioning tool

First of all, here’s how far we’ve come.

Before this tool existed, if you wanted to add captions to a Facebook video, you had to either embed them in the video itself (so that they couldn’t be turned on/off), or you had to upload a SubRip (.srt) file. That meant manually typing out everything in exactly the right format, down to fractions of seconds.

Basically, you had to do this:

With Rip File.gif

(In case you never did it – it wasn’t fun.)

Now Facebook does the hard work for you – and you can edit your captions in real time.

If you’ve used YouTube’s caption editor, this should be pretty familiar to you – Facebook’s voice recognition software identifies what your video says and when, giving you a template you can edit right in your browser.

To access it, go to one of your videos and find the “Edit Post” option:

(Note: if you go to the video via your Page’s Videos tab, this may appear as Edit Video instead.)

From there, you can access the Captions menu to either upload an .srt file (just like old times!) or use the “Edit Captions” button.

That’ll bring up a window where you can see the captions Facebook has created for you, right alongside the video itself:

Caption Editor.jpg

Your work isn’t done once Facebook generates captions for you, though.

Because while voice recognition software is powerful, it isn’t perfect! Facebook will give you a huge head start by loading up what it thinks your video is saying, but you should definitely go through line by line and make sure everything looks right.

Otherwise, you might end up with something like this:


(As you may have guessed, that’s not actually what she’s saying.)

Once you’re done, all you have to do is save, and boom – your video is viewer-friendly for the vast majority of users who prefer muted content to sound!

By making this quick and easy tweak, you’re optimizing your videos so that they’ll be a lot more appealing for viewers, and that can make a huge difference – not just for your Facebook Page, but for your business.

Don’t forget to do this for your live broadcasts, tooYou can rack up a lot of views long after it ends, so adding captions is an important part of your post-broadcast routine!

(And by the way, you can watch the video we’ve been using as an example right here! No headphones required.)

Do you have captions to add?

There you have it, videophiles – a quick, easy tool for adding captions to your Facebook videos!

The question now is, are you going to use it?

Do you think it might not be worth the trouble?

Or do you prefer sharing only videos that don’t have any sound in them at all?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

The Facebook Video Tweak That Could Seriously Increase Your Views
Article Name
The Facebook Video Tweak That Could Seriously Increase Your Views
Want your videos to score more viewers? Facebook's auto-caption tool is a feature you can't afford to ignore.
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Meet Edgar
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  1. Thank you for sharing Meet Edgar team! This was very helpful. I just went Live for the first time in my FB Page yesterday & now I can go back and add in captions!

  2. WildCatAdvocate says:

    Just looked on one of my uploaded Facebook videos and there’s no “Generate” option there. Just the “upload SRT file” option. When will this be rolling out to everyone? I have nearly 3 million followers so I usually am first to get new options.

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      Soon, hopefully! (We also found ourselves that not all of our videos gave the “Generate” option, so it’s not 100% clear when the rollout will be complete for all Pages.)

      • Curt Maly says:

        Btw… what I do for clients of our ad agency… if you do not have the new FB feature…you can just upload your video to YouTube and within a few min YouTube will AUTO TRANSCRIBE the Close Captioned Transcription. You can then edit the transcription then DOWNLOAD the SRT file to upload it directly to FB. This is the way have have inserted captions for FB videos while we all wait for this new update. Enjoy 🙂

    • Daniel Isaiah Shalach says:

      Ironically we started a new FB page and it had it….but our 1M+ fan page does not…go figure!

    • Anurag Dwivedi says:

      If you want to get deep into text/ caption editing for your videos, you can give a try to Rocketium as well. lets you add and style your text in many different ways.

    • Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel says:

      You may have the feature. This feature is only available for videos under 5 minutes in length. If your video is longer, try the hack from Curt Maly below.

  3. MJ says:

    This is cool and it works quite well. But I’ve uploaded an SRT file before and the captions don’t show up in the newsfeed by default. Any tips?

  4. Bobby Umar says:

    Great post! I tried to find the captions, but nothing was there. Do I need to change my settings?

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      Since it’s still rolling out, it doesn’t seem to be available for all Pages (or even all videos) yet – keep an eye out, though, as it’s been becoming more widely available over time!

  5. Valerie Deloy Cudnik says:

    I’m partially deaf… I don’t even watch videos without captions. I love this added tool. Been using it a while on YouTube, where it’s also good for SEO.

  6. Elena says:

    It’s a great tool. Unfortunately it’s for pages only…not for groups (yet) 🙁

  7. I discovered this today, but after 8 minutes, it wouldn’t generate any more captions (nor allow me to manually add). Anyone else have this experience?

  8. Wonderful! Just captioned our first video! It was easy and fun! I know that many times I prefer to watch videos without sound, so I think this will be very helpful, indeed. Thanks for the tip!

  9. Chris says:

    Will you be able to download the SRT files after they are created on Facebook?

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      That doesn’t seem to be the case – or at least, not yet! Given that the feature is still in a rollout phase, it’s unclear how it might change over time.

  10. Hilary Hendershott says:

    I LOVE THIS NEWSLETTER. I love Meet Edgar and thank you so much for writing updates in English that normal people who run companies and aren’t marketing experts can read. I <3 You.

  11. Greg Russak says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Love your approach, too. You took what could have been dry and boring and made it simple, engaging, and fun. Well done!

  12. Jay Santana says:

    As always, great piece. Love you guys!!

  13. Catherine Lee says:

    I made edits to the captions on my biz page and received the message: Profile Is Not Eligible: Only verified Facebook profile is eligible to publish branded content.

    Why is that? How can I resolve this?

  14. Thanks for this update and I hope FB can roll out this feature for all of us soon. Just tried following your steps on adding subtitles, and they are not available yet.

    Thanks again!

  15. Now this was some very interesting insight. I would have never guessed. Thank you for sharing this strategy. I will definitely try this out.

  16. Cloris Kylie says:

    Thank you! Question: how do you create the captions file that Facebook asks to upload? Is there a special software for that?

  17. I tried this and followed all the steps, but the first 2 minutes were not captioned and the captions started at the 2 minute mark for some reason. NO idea how to change this, edit this, etc.

  18. Lisa Liguori says:

    When every I try to add captions, I get this from facebook when I hit save: Can’t save captions: Sorry, something went wrong while uploading captions. Please try again. Any advise?

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      Sounds like a Facebook error – their support team is your best bet!

    • @LisaLiguori I got the same error. I had to download from YouTube the SRT file (I previously downloaded the FB live video, uploaded to youtube to do this!) and THEN I had to use FB’s filename convention for this to work [filename] – after a couple tries it worked for me.

  19. Louise Clarke says:

    I have done exactly as you suggested, used the Edit Caption button. I edited the video, from start to finish, saved it. Saved it again. And there were no captions appearing when I played it to test it. I have repeated the saving process three times now and still no success? What might I be missing here? Thanks.

    • Tom VanBuren says:

      When you watch the video, are you turning the captions on? (Click the gear icon on the video, then check the “captions” box.)

  20. Honestly, if you upload to youtube as well, like your FB lives or any videos, you can edit the captions on there, then download the srt file and upload the file in the same area you edit in facebook and they are done perfectly. And YT auto created captions are very close to what you are actually saying so require very little editing.

  21. Laura Park Figueroa says:

    THANK YOU for this great post! I would never have known about captions if it wasn’t for this article. I tried it on a short demo video I just made a week or so ago and it worked like a charm. Can’t wait to do this on future videos too!!

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