We all know that Facebook has a vast audience, with over 2 billion monthly active users as of June 2017. But with so many users all over the world, it is certain that many of them find it difficult to use the site due to their circumstances, such as blindness or deafness.

Facebook agrees that it’s important to include everyone, stating that ‘Facebook is committed to creating a great experience for all people. Learn about the built-in features and technologies that help people with disabilities, like vision loss and deafness, to get the most out of Facebook.

So far, their approach has included keyboard shortcuts and compatibility with screen readers and assistive technology.

But what’s happened lately? Read on to learn more about Facebook’s most recent accessibility updates!

Closed Captions for Facebook Live Videos

Last month on 6th June 2017, Facebook made significant progress with their efforts to be more accessible by announcing the fact publishers can now include closed captions alongside their Facebook Live videos. This is great news for people who are deaf or hard of hearing!

It was already possible for creators of non-live video content to include captions, but this takes captioning to the next level.

Now, Live video publishers can include the captions with their content. This means that users who have their captioning settings turned on will automatically see them featured on Live Broadcasts – providing the publisher has chosen to include them.

The captions are created through the use of Facebook’s speech recognition service, which automatically generates them. This creates no extra work for the publisher but will go a long way when it comes to reaching a wider audience.

Facebook stated that over the past year, the viewing time of Facebook Live Broadcasts has increased by 4x and that every 1 in 5 videos viewed on Facebook is a Live Broadcast. With the introduction of live video captioning, Facebook’s hope is that ‘more people can now participate in the exciting moments that unfold on Live.

Will you be using Captions for your Live Videos?

We think using captions is a very good idea for any publisher, so definitely give it a try if you’re considering doing so. This is your chance to show the world that you’re an inclusive business who wants to do the best they can do provide quality content to all who wish to see it – regardless of any difficulties or disabilities they may have. Make your business accessible to all and it’ll surely pay off for both you and your customers.

To stay up to date with the latest accessibility updates on Facebook, follow the Accessibility Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/accessibility) or follow @fbaccess on Twitter.