POV: Two New Features for a Facebook Comeback, Live audio and captioning will be loved by users and brands alike

Facebook is adding two new features we can’t wait to use – audio notes and automatic subtitles for videos.

After launching live 360 in the past month, live audio enables users to go live using the audio format only. Facebook is currently testing this feature with well-known news stations and publishers such as BBC, Harper Collins, and Britt Bennett before officially making it available to end-users.

What makes this feature even more interesting is the real-time interaction between users – they will be able to comment, ask questions, react, and share the audio with their friends. Afterwards, Android users will be able to listen to the audio live streaming after leaving the Facebook mobile app.

Mindshare specialists believe that this new feature will bring back the era of Facebook, especially after Snapchat and Instagram live took over in Q3 and Q4 of 2016. Live audio may appeal to many of those with which we work in the GCC region, where many people prefer not to appear on camera.

Facebook has provided even more autonomy for users with another new feature, automated captioning. The free tool has quietly launched and is currently applicable for Facebook pages in English in the United States. Now with muted auto-replay, it's giving its users the chance to watch a muted video with captions.

Many people find themselves surfing Facebook to fill free time gaps where they can’t have the volume turned on. During this period, lots of videos simply get skipped because of that inconvenience. Facebook’s automated caption feature can widen the spectrum of videos that people are likely to watch during their day.

Absolut, in partnership with Facebook's Creative Shop, published a video designed especially to accommodate this feature as soon as it was released in order to advertise their new product. It's said that if users watch the first three seconds of a video, they're likely to continue the rest. Automatic captioning give viewers more motive to continue and find out what a brand has to say.

The feature was launched back in early 2016 and was limited to video ads only, but there has been speculation that automated subtitles will be expanding to all videos, including user-generated videos. So how does this help brands? Mindshare experts believe that this will encourage more users to tune in to videos uploaded on Facebook and allow them to understand what brands have to say, with or without audio.