For the last few years, inclusion, accessibility, diversity, and representation have been rising to the fore of more and more public discussion, with many brands joining in the conversation.
However, the surface has only been scratched, and there is lots of work left to be done by brands around the world to make sure their content is more accessible, inclusive, and diverse.
Considering the 84% year-over-year increase in watch time on Twitter seen in 20191, video has undeniably become a leading content format in recent years. With this in mind, it’s important brands make their videos accessible to everyone.
Below we’ve got five accessibility guidelines you can apply to your videos on Twitter.
Use closed captions
Closed captions differ from subtitles because they also take into account background noises and other audio cues in a video. They not only aid those with hearing loss or difficulties, but also people watching your video in a noisy place, and those who speak a language that’s different to the language in the video.
Add closed captioning to any of your videos that contain dialogue and/or audio. If your video contains no audio, you can add closed captions that note this fact.
Here’s five tips for best practice when creating captions for your videos:
Your captions should be three lines or less. This makes them easier and faster for people to read, and less likely to obscure important visuals in the video – captions should not exceed 32 characters per line.
Insert line breaks at logical points as much as possible – for longer sentences, break them up according to logical or grammatical breaks for instance.
Captions should remain on-screen for at least one second in each frame so viewers have time to read them.
The default font used for captions is sans-serif, because it is more legible, especially when the words need to be registered fairly quickly.
If there are any periods of silence in your video, describe this in the caption using brackets, for example, [silence]. Similarly, describe in the captions when there is just music playing – you may include the emotion of music, such as [upbeat music].
How to add closed captions to Twitter videos
For videos on Twitter, closed captions should be added to videos as an .srt file. ‘SRT’ refers to a ‘SubRip Subtitle’ file, and it’s one of the most common file formats used in the process of subtitling and/or captioning.
Utilize the built-in caption functionality in Twitter Media Studio to upload your .srt caption file.
When uploading your SRT file to the Twitter Media Studio, remember that they have to be delivered separately, and not combined with your video asset. This ensures the captions will be seen on Twitter.
Top tip: Always test your video prior to launch so you can check that the closed captions are working correctly, have logical breaks, and aren’t covering important parts of your video, such as lower thirds text.