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YouTube: AutoCaptions for Everyone and New Default Embed Size

johnson-nathania
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A couple of new updates from the Internet's most popular video sharing site.

Last year, YouTube introduced auto-captions in limited availability. This week, they've opened them up to all videos in English. Here's what you need to know:

  • Videos with clear speech in them will be best for auto-captioning. Background noise will make it difficult for machine-generated translation.
  • Owners can download the auto-captions to manually improve them.
  • While auto-captioning is currently only available to English speech, those captions can be translated into 50 languages.

While YouTube is touting this as an accessibility feature - and it is - the SEO in me sees the obvious implications for search. Text is currently much easier to index and search than video. With captions (i.e. text!) for millions and eventually billions of videos, that could enhance search on YouTube.

It may sound premature to say this, but I highly recommend optimizing the content of your videos for search. Introduce your scriptwriter to your SEO copywriter and get them to be friends.

For all the tech specs on videos and captions, check out this YouTube help page.

Meanwhile, another YouTube update is the change to the default size of embeddable videos. The old default was smaller than the size viewed on YouTube.com. The new size is the same as what's featured on YouTube: either 480x385 if 4:3 video, or 640x385 for 16:9 content.


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