Digital accessibility is a pressing issue for people with disabilities, but by adding an optional auto-captions feature, TikTok has become a more accessible digital platform. This new feature will auto-generate captions to match what is being said in the video. After the captions have been generated, the creator will be able to edit the captions to correct any errors made by the transcription program.
Before the auto-captions feature premiered, some TikTok creators used a tool from the Instragram Threads app to caption videos in TikTok. These Instagram captions show up one word at a time with the audio track, while the new TikTok auto-captions show up as a small text block, similar to subtitles in a movie.
We can expect to see more accessibility from both Instagram and TikTok in the future. Instagram is spreading auto-captioning across its platform; it has already reached IGTV and will reach Reels and Stories next. When the TikTok accessibility assessment is completed, TikTok will have a list of ways to make the platform more accessible. In this way, two popular social media platforms will become more usable for those with disabilities.