YouTube today announced that creators can now use the Community Contributions feature to translate a video’s titles and descriptions. This means that it only takes a few clicks to let viewers translate your content so more people around the world can discover, understand, and learn from it.
Back in November 2015, YouTube started letting its community of viewers contribute translations for captions (also known as subtitles). Now the Google-owned company is opening up the functionality to titles and descriptions as well.
At the time, YouTube cited data from early tests where partners saw an increase in viewership because of the translations. Giving titles and descriptions the same treatment as captions is a no-brainer, and it’s frankly surprising it wasn’t done from the start. If your content is available in more languages, you’ve basically increased your potential audience.
We asked why title and descriptions weren’t included at the same time as captions. A YouTube spokesperson explained the plan was always to allow them eventually, but the team wanted to launch with subtitles first in order to test the product, improve it, get feedback from creators, and grow the community of contributors before expanding.
In short, this is the story of YouTube figuring out how crowdsourcing can be used to break down language barriers. YouTube has over 1 billion users, and they speak 76 languages, the company says.
“While that’s great for building global audiences, it means your content can sometimes get lost in translation,” the YouTube team noted. “That’s why we built translation tools so you can easily connect with audiences who don’t speak your native tongue.”
If you want to learn more, YouTube is offering a Creator Academy Boot Camp to provide more hands-on learning on how to use translation tools and grow your audience. The course runs between April 6 and April 24, so make sure to register before then.