Now that Facebook users are watching 1 billion videos on the site every day, any opportunity to make that video content accessible to all users is a very welcome thing. The feature has been in place on YouTube and Vimeo for years, and finally, Facebook has added the functionality to upload closed captions to videos published to its site (if you are in the U.S.).

Closed captions, or subtitles, add a text overlay to the video to allow viewers with hearing difficulties to understand the context of the clip they are watching. Closed captions can help with all types of accessibility issues with a recent study confirming that 80% of viewers who choose to turn on captioning are not hard of hearing and have the captions on by default, or use them when watching videos in a noisy environment. The feature is currently enabled for Facebook users in the U.S. at the moment, and doesn’t extend to mobile devices, as yet.

How to Add Closed Caption Functionality to Facebook Videos

Facebook has confirmed that U.S. users can add closed captions to a video by doing the following:

  • The user will need to upload a SubRip (.srt) file that is saved using the following format:

Adding Closed Captions to a Facebook Video on Upload

  • On the page that appears after you click ‘Post’, click ‘Edit This Video’
  • Click ‘Choose File’ to select your SubRip (.srt) file
  • Click ‘Save’

Adding Closed Captions to a Facebook Video After Upload

  • Click on your video to expand it
  • Click ‘Options’ and select ‘Edit This Video’ from the menu
  • Click ‘Choose File’ to select your SubRip (.srt) file
  • Click ‘Save’

facebook video closed captions

How to Create a SubRip File for Subtitles

SubRip or SRT files are supported by a variety of media players and can be created very easily using a standard text editor like “Notepad++” or TextEdit for Mac OS.

  • Open the text editor
  • You’ll need to divide each phrase into different numbered sections. Begin by typing “1” (without the quotation marks”, and press ‘Enter’
  • The SubRip format uses milliseconds in its timings so you’ll need to divide each phrase into the following timespans:
00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:15,000
Somewhere over the
Press Enter, and then "2" (without the quotes) to get:
00:00:15,001 --> 00:00:18,001
rainbow, bluebirds fly
Press Enter, and then "3" (without the quotes) to get:
00:00:18,002 --> 00:00:22,002
And the dreams that you dreamed of
  • Do the same until you have captioned the whole video.
  • Save the file in the SRT fomat by clicking Save > All Files. Type in your file name, into the “File name” field and then type “.srt” (without quotes) after it. Click Save.

srt file facebook

Hat Tip to CaptionAction2 for letting us know about the new feature.