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Zoom to Release Automatic Closed Captioning for Free Accounts

February 25, 2021

Zoom will roll out automatic closed captioning for all free accounts in the fall, according to a blog post from the company.

The video conferencing company will make the Live Transcription setting available to all Zoom users "to provide a platform that is accessible to all of the diverse communities we serve," it said.

Zoom users with free accounts who require the automatic closed captioning can receive the update upon request starting today, ahead of the broader release, by filling out a request form.

"Since we expect a high volume of requests, we appreciate your patience as we work to make automatic closed captioning available for all of our users," reads a statement by Jen Hill, Zoom's product marketing manager.

Live transcription has been available for paid accounts exclusively. The feature supports only the English language.

The live transcription feature allows hosts to enable captioning for participants as a person speaks in a meeting. The closed captioning can done by an integrated third-party closed captioning service or the host or an assigned meeting attendee for greater accuracy.

Background noise, volume and clarity of the speaker’s voice, a speaker's proficiency with the English language and lexicons and dialects specific to a geography or community may affect the accuracy of the automated live transcription.

Microsoft Teams and Google Meet also provide free live captions for users. Teams offers transcriptions only in English, and Google Meet can caption English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Mexico and Spain).

Source: USA Today