New and evolving technologies inevitably lead to companies producing more innovative products. This is because these innovations add new features to their products and can often lead to better learning opportunities.

The most recent innovation has come from Instagram who have enabled users to caption their Instagram Stories videos. This automatically allows deaf people to access the videos.

Innovations often come from customer behaviour. And in this instance, the need for captions on Instagram in Stories is mainly down to people watching videos from their mobile devices without sound. In fact, research shows that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. This makes perfect sense, as many people use mobile phones ‘on the go’ and don’t necessarily want people to listen in too!

Here are some more interesting stats on video:

  • YouTube has over a billion users, that’s almost one-third of total internet users
  • 45% of people watch more than 60 mins of Facebook or YouTube videos a week
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds
  • Over half of video content is viewed on a mobile device
  • 92% of mobile viewers share videos with others – and that includes deaf people!
  • One-third of online activity is spent watching video

So you have to consider, how can deaf people share your content if it doesn’t have subtitles?

If you forget this crucial step, you’re not able to communicate your message to one in six of your audience.

The move towards captioning being used as best practice, is great news.  It will undoubtedly enhance deaf people’s access to information; whether that be for personal or professional use.

And even aside from providing access to deaf people, captions also offer better access to those for whom English is a second language.

It’s interesting to note however that most TV adverts are not yet captioned.

Yet research conducted by AdColony in 2017 analysed two versions of adverts from Bose, Disney, Sony Pictures and Volvo. One had subtitles and one didn’t; the subtitled versions showed positive results.

In fact, the results showed an increase of almost 10% for awareness KPIs ((key performance indicators) in movie and entertainment campaigns when subtitles were used compared to when they were not. And when they looked at intent to purchase, some adverts achieved a 26% boost – and one technology product campaign saw a 23% increase in communicating key product features when using subtitles.

As we can see, subtitles, or captions, not only directly benefit more than one in six of the population, they also improve brand awareness, intent to purchase and customers’ understanding of key product features.

So it could be a good idea to make a plan for adding subtitles to all your online video contact – whichever platform you’re using.