There’s one setting you need to change on your YouTube channel right now!
YouTube and Google have recently rolled out fan-based captioning (and subtitling) support to all channels. This feature had been in closed development for over a year and previously restricted to a small group of YouTube content creators, such as Jamie Oliver.
Unfortunately, YouTube hasn’t enabled the new fan-based community captioning (and subtitling) features by default — and this means channel owners will need to do it themselves manually.
Here’s how to to it (in less than 20 seconds):
Go to the Creator Studio menu
Select the Channel > Upload Defaults menu item
Make sure the Subtitle contributions setting is “ticked” as this allows viewers to contribute subtitles and closed captions for your videos.
Make sure you save the new settings.
Bask in the warm glow that you’ve taken the first step in creating the broadest possible audience for your content!
Note: This is only the first (small) step in creating accessibility through closed captioning and greater inclusion via subtitling and translating into other languages. There’s also still a couple of other things that YouTube needs to do to improve things — such as allowing a transcript to be uploaded and auto-synced so that fans don’t have to start from scratch, or to help captioning creators (like myself) who are Deaf and can’t manually sync the captions easily, etc — but hopefully these will be added very shortly.
Update: 18 December 2015
I’m struggling to find any channels that have enabled fan based captioning and subtitles in the “trending” videos on YouTube and this should be a real red flag for YouTube and Google.
Stuck? Need some more help?
Contact me at michael(dot)lockrey(at)gmail(dot)com and ask for a hand in making your channel more accessible by enabling the fan-based community captioning (and subtitling) feature.
PS: If you ask me (really) nicely I’m usually happy to help you out with creating captioning for your first video too!