Twitter now supports automatic captions for newly-uploaded videos

Twitter (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Twitter says new videos will automatically receive captions.
  • Videos already uploaded won't gain captions — it only applies to new ones.
  • There is no way to report inaccurate captions as of right now.

Social network Twitter has announced that videos that are uploaded to it will now automatically receive captions in a move that is a big deal in terms of accessibility.

The move will see new videos automatically gain captions on iOS, Android, and the web while "most languages" will be supported out the gate. however, there's a caveat in the fact that this will only apply to newly-uploaded videos. Those that are already available will not be retroactively supported. What's more, there isn't currently a way for people to report when captions are inaccurate — although Twitter does appear to suggest that could change in the future based on feedback.

However, there's one significant catch with the automatic captions: they'll only appear on new videos uploaded to Twitter. Old videos that don't have captions still won't have them. There's also no way to report inaccurate or bad captions, a Twitter spokesperson tells The Verge, though they say "we're always looking at ways to improve our accessibility features."

While this might not be a huge deal for everyone, any attempt to improve accessibility is one that should be lauded — even if Twitter doesn't seem to have gone quite as far as some would have liked. Not supporting previously uploaded videos doesn't seem too bad, but the lack of any reporting options is disappointing. Fingers crossed that changes sooner rather than later.

It isn't immediately clear whether this will only work with the official Twitter app, or if those using third-party apps will also benefit. The official Twitter app is fine, but few would argue that it's the best iPhone app for reading tweets.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.