Facebook Automates Video Ad Captioning

With more than 100 million hours of video being consumed each day on Facebook, it’s competitive out there. According to Facebook’s own research, most viewers don’t like it when video ads play automatically with sound. In fact, 80% of people react negatively. At the same time, most video ads don’t make sense, let alone make their point, when played without sound.

To help overcome this challenge for its advertisers, Facebook will automate captioning on video ads. While Facebook has always supported the capability for advertisers to caption their own ads via SubRip (.srt) files, this capability does the work. Facebook’s captioning tool has been trained by transcribing over 50,000 video ads.

Most video ads are played without sound, the company says, and this new capability will allow ads to play silently and still provide context.

"Captions are a way to tell someone who's in a sound-off environment what the video is about quickly. What we've seen in some of our internal tests is adding captions actually increased view time by an average of 12%," said Matt Idema, VP-monetization product marketing at Facebook.

For maximum engagement, however, the company is urging advertisers to create video ads that are effective even without sound and which capture a visitor’s attention within the first three seconds.

For more information, see Facebook for Business: Capture Attention with Updated Features for Video Ads.