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Problem: 85% of people watch Facebook videos with the volume off.

Solution: add captions to your videos

On Facebook you have just seconds to persuade someone to stop scrolling long enough to view your video.

So don’t give them a reason to leave.

If a person has to dig out headphones or turn up the volume on the train to understand your video, chances are they’ll give up and just scroll right past.

Don’t let such a simple omission prevent your video from having an impact. Make sure your message gets across even without sound by adding captions to your video.

I say captions rather than subtitles because, technically, subtitles are a translation from a foreign language. Closed captions (CC) are the type of captions the viewer can toggle on or off in the media browser. Open captions are on display all the time as they are ‘burned’ into the video file.

Here are 3 simple ways to add captions to your videos.

Auto-generate captions in Facebook

You can create captions using Facebook’s auto-generate software which is accessed in the video editor.

It’s a straightforward process. Just follow the steps in the video tutorial below.

Remember to proofread and edit the auto-generated transcript to avoid embarrassing errors.  

Also, once the captions are added change your overall settings so they will display automatically as viewers scroll through the news feed.  

Pay an on-demand service to generate captions

For $1 per minute of video the good people at will create a timed transcript file that’s close to 100% accurate (they promise 99% accuracy).

Essentially they use the same auto-generate software as Facebook but their team of professional transcribers do the proofreading for you. You simply upload your video and when the timed transcript is ready you’ll receive an email.

Follow the link to’s editor where you can double check the transcript and edit if neccesary. I rarely find errors though. Furthermore, you can input instructions in advance to pre-empt issues with recurring names or difficult accents.

You can download the transcript in an array of file formats. The most likely one you’ll use is the subRip file (.srt).

And this is the real bonus of the service. With a subRip file you can now upload accurate captions to a variety of social media platforms including: Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, and Linkedin. This saves you going through the process of generating captions for each publishing platform.

Burn-in’ captions to your video

The final option is to create open captions that are ‘burned’ into the exported video.

The great advantage of this is that you only have to add captions once and they’ll be on display no matter what social media platform you publish to.

This is especially useful for Instagram and Twitter where you can’t upload the subRip files mentioned above.

And you can do this all from your smartphone.

Using apps like KineMaster, LumFusion and Adobe Rush you can create standard captions with a black background or bolder captions like in the tutorial below.

KineMaster, Adobe Rush and LumaFusion are really flexible editors that let you create custom titles and use the voice recognition tool on your phone to create captions quickly.

The above video is just a quick look at what is possible. Subscribe to our Smartphone video newsletter for in-depth video tutorials on how to create captions efficiently in each of these apps.