Definitive Guide to LinkedIn Video Captions

When it comes to creating video content for LinkedIn, one of the biggest questions I get asked is HOW to caption videos.

Sadly my answer is… “It depends.”

  • It depends whether you’re talking about live vs recorded video.
  • It depends whether you’re talking about public videos vs private videos.
  • It depends whether you’re talking about mobile vs desktop videos.

Since it’s always been my mission on LinkedIn to make video “easy peasy” (which can be a bit of a challenge) I created this guide to review all the different options for captioning videos on LinkedIn.

NEWSFEED VIDEOS

It’s brilliant that videos, uploaded natively as video posts, now allow for auto-generated captions.

The captions that LinkedIn generates for us on both mobile and desktop are what’s called “closed captions.” These are the standard captions that include white text on a black background.

Closed captions are clean and easy to read. They can always be found in the same place, which is at the bottom of the video. And best of all, they can be toggled on or off at the viewers discretion, by simply clicking/tapping on the CC button in the bottom-right corner.

While LinkedIn’s auto-generated captions are terrific, it’s important to know they are rarely 100% accurate. This means it’s a good idea to review your captions and edit them for accuracy.

Example of an Auto Captions being added & edited/removed to a desktop video

Example of Auto Captions being added & edited/removed to a desktop video.

While LinkedIn’s auto captions are generated for videos uploaded via desktop or mobile, you can ONLY edit those captions using your desktop computer.

While that may be easy peasy for desktop users, it’s a bit more complicated for for mobile folks.

After uploading a video via your phone, you then have to log in to LinkedIn using your computer, track down your video post, and then make any edits to the auto captions. Phew!

NOTE: When auto-generated captions were first released you only had one shot to edit captions. Luckily, now LinkedIn allows for multiple edits.

🙏 Special thanks to John Espirian for pointing out this captioning update.

It's frustrating that you can't edit Auto captions on mobile

It’s frustrating that you can’t edit Auto captions on mobile.

Auto-Captions are Optional

As a side note, I’m actually not a fan of LinkedIn’s auto captions. Instead I prefer adding “open captions” to my newsfeed videos. Just in case you’re not familiar with that term, these captions are burned into the video.

Open captions gives you complete control the font style, size, color, and placement of your captions. I like to use CapCut to create open captions on mobile and Kapwing to create my captions on desktop.

I like to add Open Captions to both mobile & desktop videos

I like to add Open Captions to both mobile & desktop videos.

It’s important to know that auto captions are now the default option for native video posts on LinkedIn. So if you’re like me and prefer to creating your own captions, you will need to turn auto captions off. Otherwise your video will now have two sets of captions – open and closed. 😱

To prevent LinkedIn from adding auto captions, simply toggle the slider to the OFF position whilst uploading your video. The auto captions slider is located directly below the video preview.

If you add Open Captions to your videos, be sure to toggle OFF Auto Captions

If you add Open Captions to your videos, be sure to toggle OFF Auto Captions.

You Can Upload Your Own Closed Captions

Another DIY option for creating captions for your LinkedIn videos, is to use a third-party tool to create your own Closed Captions. However, once you’ve created the SRT file required, it can be a wee bit confusing on how to add the file when you are uploading your video to LinkedIn.

To add your own Closed Captions, you will need scroll below the video preview. In the Auto captions section, click on the blue text that says “You can also upload an SRT file instead.”

You will then be prompted to upload the desired SRT file from your computer. And, once that file has been successfully uploaded, you will see the name of the SRT file displayed.

It's easy to miss where to upload the SRT file for Closed Captions

It’s easy to miss where to upload the SRT file for Closed Captions.

It would be nice if you could preview the the video with the closed captions, but that’s not an option. However, once your video is posted you can can edit the captions by clicking on the 3 dots … (ellipses) in the upper-right corner of the video. This opens up a menu with “Edit captions” as one of the options.

If you need to make any revisions to your captions, you can edit the Closed Captions after posting

If you need to make any revisions to your captions, you can edit the Closed Captions after posting.

I recommend using Happy Scribe, Clideo, or Rev.com on your desktop to create the SRT file needed for closed captions.

NOTE: You can ONLY add closed captions using your desktop computer.

LINKEDIN LIVES

LinkedIn Lives were the first place auto captions first made their appearance. If you’ve ever attended a LinkedIn Live or watched a replay, you may have noticed the captioning is generated in real-time.

While these auto captions are displayed on both desktop and mobile, some Android users report they don’t always see them. Being an iPhone user, I haven’t witnessed that myself.

The captions auto generated for LinkedIn Lives are closed captions, which means they can be toggled on and off by the viewer. However, unlike the captions for newsfeed videos, these captions cannot be edited by the Livestream host. So if your name is not spelled right (like mine always is) there’s nothing you can do about it. 😳

The Auto captions for LinkedIn Live can't be edited

The Auto captions for LinkedIn Live can’t be edited.

It’s also important to know that auto-captioning is only available in English and for broadcasters who stream to LinkedIn using one of the preferred API partners (StreamYard, Restream, Vimeo, etc.).

So if you like to stream to LinkedIn using other programs, like Zoom or eCamm, LinkedIn will most likely not provide auto captions.

ARTICLES & NEWSLETTERS

While you can’t upload videos to a LinkedIn article, you can embed videos that are hosted outside of LinkedIn. If your video already has captions on the video hosting platform, like YouTube or Vimeo, those captions will be accessible inside LinkedIn.

As a side note, I simply use closed captions created natively within YouTube or Vimeo when I embed videos into my LinkedIn articles.

Love how YouTube & Vimeo Closed Captions display in articles

Love how YouTube & Vimeo Closed Captions display in articles.

VIDEO MESSAGES

Much like Profile Videos, if you record a video message using the LinkedIn app, there is no option to caption that video. It would be nice if LinkedIn provided auto captions for video messages… but they don’t.

Since you can only upload a video message via your mobile device, if you want to add captions you’ll need to record and caption that mobile video outside of the LinkedIn app using a third-party tool.

The third-party mobile captioning tools I recommend include: Capcut (iPhone & Android), Clips OR Clipchamp (iPhone), and Voicella (Android).

I like captioning mobile video messages using CapCut

I like captioning mobile video messages using CapCut.

If you are not a fan of using LinkedIn on your phone, there is a there is a workaround for sending captioned video messages via desktop.

Use a use a third-party desktop tool like Loom, which allows you to record and create auto-generated closed captions all within the one program. Best of all, the closed captions Loom auto-generates can be edited. 🥳

While you can’t upload your video message directly inside a LinkedIn message like you can on your phone, you can paste a link to the video hosted inside of Loom. When the message recipient clicks the link to watch the captioned video the captions will be displayed inside the Loom video player.

I like captioning Desktop video messages using Loom

I like captioning Desktop video messages using Loom.

Okay that’s a wrap of all the different ways to caption your videos within LinkedIn.

As you can see it the answer to how captions work on LinkedIn really does vary. Hopefully, this definitive guide will help you keep all the different options straight in your head.

gillian whitney
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Hi, I’m Gillian Whitney, a LinkedIn Live Stream Strategist & Coach making live video easy peasy. Working with B2B professionals from around the world, to leverage LinkedIn Live to be discovered, noticed, and recognized on LinkedIn®