Facebook brings auto-playing videos in the news feed

December 12th 2013, 14:24 by Christian
Posted in: Android, Internet, iOS

This is one of the biggest and most controversial moves made by Facebook lately. The decision to introduce auto-playing videos in its news feeds will surely create some havoc among users. Still, the change is almost complete and it will soon roll out to all mobile users as well as on Facebook.com.

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For the time being, these auto-playing videos will resemble those on Vine and Instagram, meaning that the sound will remain mute until you actually click on them. However, long gone are the days when the news feed used to be still, silent, and the videos hidden behind a play button.

The auto-play videos will start playing the moment you scroll over them, and will continue to do so even as you continue to scroll around. The good news is that they will remain silent for the time being, but who knows how long this is gonna last?!

YouTube or other external videos that appear in the feed won’t auto-play at all, thus giving Facebook videos a clear advantage, especially those uploaded from Instagram (which Facebook owns, btw).

It’s hard not to notice what Facebook is up to. They’re clearly getting all their ducks in order and it’s only a matter of time until aggressive auto-play video ads will be as common in the news feed as your everyday GIF.

Advertisers will surely repurpose the ads they shoot for television to fit on Facebook, an idea which marketers love. On the other hands, most users pretty much hate ads all together. Personally, the idea of some cool Super-Bowl commercials or a couple of movie trailers in my News Feed doesn’t sound that horrible – as long as they play without sound and won’t be about your everyday detergent.

Regardless of the format, Facebook has a very difficult task of balancing these new changes in a way in which not to send all of its users towards Google+ or any other social network. We’ll see where this all leads to.

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