Audio is becoming increasingly important on social networks. And while the trend has gained momentum, it has also highlighted the shortcomings of these platforms in terms of accessibility for the deaf and hearing impaired. To address this, LinkedIn has unveiled a new feature bringing real-time captions to audio events.
This is a feature that will come in handy for all users, especially those with hearing difficulties. Since the rise of Clubhouse, many social networks have adopted the audio room format. In fact, written discussions could soon be a thing of the past, as interactions can now take place live, and by voice.
LinkedIn , just like Twitter and Reddit, has developed its own live audio events feature -- its own take on audio rooms. This new format for the professional platform is now taking a more inclusive turn. From now on, users will be able to activate captions during live audio discussions. "By adding real-time captions, we are making audio events more accessible and inclusive for members with hearing impairments," said Tomer Cohen, Chief Product Officer at LinkedIn, in a post on the new feature.
Captions will be generated in real time, allowing users to follow the discussion without needing to listen to the audio. This is undoubtedly a strong point for the platform, enabling it to reach a larger proportion of its members. The option could also be useful in situations where listening isn't possible. On social networks, more and more users prefer to watch videos with subtitles without activating the sound -- a type of usage that is becoming normalized.
On LinkedIn, this option has been tested on the platform for a few months, but only internally. Currently available in English, the live captions feature is likely to be deployed in other languages, although LinkedIn has not yet given any specific rollout dates.