Creating a YouTube subtitling platform

September 21, 2020

How we started the idea.

We at Captionfy have often encountered ourselves sharing videos to our networks. However, this didn’t always work because some people could not understand the language in the video very well (usually English). We decided to take action and caption the videos ourselves.

We found out about

A few years ago we found a website called Amara, where you can use its own subtitle editor to caption YouTube videos (even if you don’t own them). We used that platform to caption our first videos.

Initial struggles with sharing our subtitles

Our initial struggle with sending videos to friends still persisted, because even after we managed to create the captions, the YouTuber had to accept them to be used in their video or our friends would have to go to Amara’s website, which did not look very friendly to them. Plus, their link to the video with my custom captions did not look interesting enough for anyone to click on it (it didn’t have the video’s thumbnail, or the translated video title).

Overcoming these limitations

We created our own tool to allow users to caption any YouTube video and be able to share a link to the video which goes directly to my website using their custom captions. And of course, the link now has a video thumbnail and the user’s translation of the video title.


Captionfy started in September 2020 and its main focus is to help subtitling YouTube videos. We have built a subtitles editor which allows users to start based on existing YouTube captions (if there are any) and simply improve or translate them. They can also upload captions files to Captionfy, and anyone will be able to enjoy the videos better with your help transcribing/translating them.

YouTube discontinued the old community captions in September 2020.

In 2020 YouTube removed its community captions feature, and there is a community of users who miss this feature. Captionfy is a great replacement for the community captions feature, and even better for the YouTubers themselves to caption their videos.

All feedback is welcome.

Any suggestions, bugs or questions you might have can be written in the feedback form on every page.

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