Science

Here’s How TikTok Makes Its App More Accessible

The social network is starting to roll out subtitles and translation features so that more users can enjoy the videos offered on its platform.

By offering its app in several countries around the world, TikTok wants to make it available to more users. It is with this goal in mind that the social network announced on July 21 that it will be rolling out new tools on its platform.

Custom subtitles

Firstly, it will now be easier for users to watch videos with automatically generated subtitles, as they will be able to enable them themselves. While TikTok has been offering this feature since 2021, captions were only available if creators chose to enable it before posting their content.

In other words, the latter could not add them after the video was posted without deleting it and starting over. Therefore, this content was not accessible to deaf and hard of hearing users if the creators forgot to activate subtitles.

Restricted Tools

TikTok is also looking to reduce the language barrier with new translation tools. They allow users to translate subtitles, descriptions, and text stickers into videos. “Through these efforts, global content will become more accessible, no matter what language(s) you speak and where you are in the world,” TikTok said in a statement. However, the social network indicates that it is “in the early stages of rolling out these tools, which are currently available on certain videos.” In addition, these new subtitle and translation features will initially be available in select languages: English, Portuguese, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish.

The platform plans to expand the availability of these tools in the coming months, so they may soon be available in France. They are in addition to other TikTok features to make that content accessible. The social network, for example, offers a voice synthesis tool to help blind and visually impaired users, with an automatically generated voice that reads text aloud.

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