The trend among teenagers is to source news from social media. According to Yih-Choung Teh, “Teenagers today are increasingly unlikely to pick up a newspaper or tune into TV news, instead preferring to keep up-to-date by scrolling through their social feeds. And while youngsters find news on social media to be less reliable, they rate these services more highly for serving up a range of opinions on the day’s topical stories.”Do you have any trouble following TikTok videos? The social media network will make it easier by enabling viewers to turn on displaying auto-generated captions.
TikTok introduced captions last year, but the feature was far from perfect. It required creators to enable auto-generated captions before posting a video. This meant captions could not be added after clicking the send button, even if the creator simply forgot to do so. The people most affected were the deaf and hard-of-hearing TikTok users who depended on them more.
In this new update, viewers can turn on or off auto-captions.
In addition, TikTok has revealed a tool that will translate the caption, video description, and text stickers into another language. Before this, users had to rely on external translation tools to under a video not in their preferred language.
The first languages to benefit from auto-caption and translation include English, Portuguese, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Turkish. More languages will be added in the coming months.
In a blog post announcing the new features, TikTok wrote, “Today, we’re introducing new caption and translation tools in hopes of lowering the language barrier to help bring entertaining global content to more users. These updates will support an initial batch of languages including English, Portuguese, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish and Turkish and include:
“Auto-generated captions: With auto-generated captions, in addition to creators, viewers now have the option to turn on closed captions for videos, helping make entertaining content more accessible.
“Translations for captions and video descriptions: With translations for captions and descriptions, we want to help users enjoy TikTok videos beyond the original language.
“Translation for text stickers: We’re also bringing translation to text stickers in videos, that way people don’t miss out on any entertaining content.
“These easy translation solutions help overcome language barriers and bring people closer together over shared entertainment. Through these efforts, global content will become more accessible regardless of the language(s) you speak and where you are in the world. We’re at the early stages of rolling out these tools, which are available on select videos at this time.”
In related news, a survey has found that TikTok is now the fastest growing news source for adults in the UK.
The survey was commissioned by UK regulator Ofcom and showed that seven percent of UK’s adult popular get their news from TikTok, a significant jump from one percent last year.
TikTok has grown massively since its inception, with surveys in the US showing that up to 40 percent of Gen Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, use TikTok or Instagram to find things like food spots instead of the more established Google Search or Maps.
However, even though it is the fastest rising, TikTok is still behind five other new source apps in the UK for people between the ages of 16 and 24, representing 27 percent of the demographic. The top destination is Instagram at 46 percent, followed by Facebook at 40 percent, BBC One at 36 percent, Twitter at 35 percent, and the BBC’s website and app at 29 percent.