Auto captioning a live video on Facebook

Photo of an eagle and eaglet in a nest next to words that say
Facebook Live –  ways to increase accessibility

Facebook’s live broadcasting is getting a lot of attention and can be a valuable way to connect to audiences, expand your reach, and share experiences with others. Facebook is currently working to make things more accessible so that anyone can tune in. At the USFWS’s National Conservation Training Center they have been doing live with automated captions. They still need editing afterward, but details for setting it up can be found below. The following instructions were graciously shared from Melissa Gonzalez at the National Conservation Training Center.

First, you will need to monitor your live video using Facebook Live Producer.

Here’s one way to get there

  1. Start your live video using a mobile phone or computer.
  2. After going live, use a computer browser to visit your Facebook page.
  3. Once on your page, go to “Publishing Tools”. You can find this option in different places, depending on the Facebook View you’re on (“Classic View” or “New Facebook”).
  4. Go to “Published Posts” and click on your live video.
  5. A new window with a preview of your post will open. Click on the ellipsis on the top right, select “Edit Post”. This will take you to open your live video, on a tool called “Facebook Live Producer“.

    1_OpeningFacebook_Live_Producer (1)
    Open Facebook Live Producer and select ‘edit post’.

Next, enable the auto-generated captioning feature

Using the Facebook Live Producer tool

  1. Look towards the middle of the screen to find a horizontal menu with a couple of options: Stream Setup, Stream Health, Video Clipping, Polls, Questions, Help.
  2. Click on “Stream Setup”.
  3. Scroll down to “Viewing”, check the “Auto-Generated Captions” box.2_StreamSetUp_Auto-GeneratedCaptions_on
    Ensure the auto-generated captions are turned on in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  4. To confirm that your captions have now been enabled, scroll up and hover over that video preview and a couple of options will show up.
  5. Look for the gear or settings icon. Click on the gear or settings icon.
  6. Choose “Captions [auto-generated]” ON. Make sure the slider is blue and says ON.
  7. Your captions will now show on the bottom left side of the live video preview

After you finish your broadcast, it’s important you go back through and double-check those captions. Seeing how the captions auto-populate can be informative and a good reminder to speak clearly.  But going back through and fixing these is an important habit to get into.

Please let me know if you have other tips for making Live more accessible!


Using Image Descriptions and Alt Text on Facebook and Twitter

Using Image Descriptions and Alt Text on Facebook and Twitter

Did you know you can edit the alt text on your Facebook and image descriptions for Twitter photos? It turns out, increasing the accessibility of the images you post may be easier than you think. This can be useful to consider if you aren’t explicitly describing what’s in the photo when you post. By making a few simple tweaks, you can really increase the access of your content.

Editing Alt Text on Facebook

To edit a photo you’ve already uploaded…Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 12.46.21 PM

  1. go to the photo and select options on the bottom right.
  2. Then select “Change Alt Text”.
  3. Click override automatically generated alt text.
  4. This will bring you to a section where you can change the automatically generated text (which is often a bit broad).

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 12.46.13 PM

If you’re uploading a photo for the first time, click “Edit Photo” on the image and add the alt text as you’re creating the post.



Still have questions? This Facebook tutorial may help. 


Image Descriptions on Twitter

  • First step, make sure “Accessibility” image descriptions and video tweets is turned on under your settings.
  • Edit past images uploaded through your studio library on twitter.
  • When uploading an image add the description by clicking on the line under the image that explicitly says “add description”.

Accessibility settings in Twitter

image showing where to add a description

Remember, Keep your description/text brief: 
A question to ask yourself is– what is the main idea being expressed by the image? Your best bet is to describe it in simple language, keeping it brief and precise.  A few words or a short sentence should do the trick. If the image is simply decorative, you also have the option to leave out the alt text.  This is similar for when you’re posting a decorative image on the website but you don’t have to use <img src=”decorative.jpg” alt=“ ”>,  you can just leave blank.

Helpful resources:


What other ways to you help make social media accessible? Please let us know!