Today, Facebook has announced some major changes that are aimed at diverting focus on the growth of the video vertical. The social media giant is not only planning to take over connected TVs but also ruin the current News Feed experience for users. It is blindly running into the wall by switching on sound for videos by default.
Announced via an official blog post, Facebook is awarding users for mercilessly scrolling past silent autoplaying videos by switching on their sounds by default. This feature had been spotted back in August when the company started testing it with a handful of users. But, the feature is now expected to roll out to nearly 2 billion users on the social platform.
Until date, the social media giant would only trigger the autoplaying of videos without sound in the News Feed. You had the option to ignore the prank which had automatically started playing or tap on the said video to launch a pop-up window with sound. Now, this functionality is being replaced by autoplaying videos, which has been justified saying it will keep users engaged for a longer time. Speaking on the same, the blog post says,
As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people.
At the Recode Media Conference, Facebook’s Vice President of partnerships Dan Rose clarifies that Facebook isn’t trying to be user-hostile with this change. He believes that users have now become pretty accustomed to seeing videos autoplay in their News Feed. This change isn’t expected to cause any adverse effects as you also have the option to disable this feature from the Settings menu.
You don’t necessarily have to hear sneak peaks of every video you scroll through in the News Feed. The Facebook follows the audio settings of your phone, meaning it will autoplay sounds when your phone isn’t on silent. But, if you’re looking to permanently disable sounds even when your phone is not on silent then you’ll have to toggle the “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” option in the Settings menu. This is another major move in pushing video to the frontlines, a primary avenue for the social media giant.