While Facebook users may have grown accustomed to having videos on their News Feeds silently come alive when they scroll over them, that is about to change. Facebook announced on Tuesday that videos on its social network will begin to automatically play with the sound on. This means that audio will fade in by itself without users tapping on the video to unmute it.
The tech giant stated that it had come to this decision “after testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback” and had already begun rolling out the feature to some of its user base.
This Facebook update is available now for Android and will be coming to iOS in the next few weeks. This change will most likely be made as a force update rather than an official app update.
For those of you who aren’t receptive to this change, Facebook has given people the ability to opt out.
How to Stop Facebook Videos from Playing Sound Automatically
- To switch off the feature, you can toggle off “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” in your account Settings.
- News Feed videos will also be muted by default if your phone is set to silent.
Facebook also unveiled another feature dubbed ‘Watch and Scroll’ for avid social media consumers who like to watch video and continue scrolling through their News Feeds simultaneously. Now Facebook supports the option of minimizing video to a picture-in-picture view in the corner of your screen, so you can multitask. You can drag the minimized video window to any corner of your screen. Android users have the additional option of keeping the video playing outside of the Facebook app.
Finally, Facebook announced the imminent launch of the Facebook video app for TV. It’s going to roll out to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, among others.
This is all part of Facebook’s bid to become the go-to destination for watching and sharing video content and compete with more established players like YouTube.
Mark Zuckerberg explained to Recode previously that making his social network a video platform was part of his bigger vision for the company: “The goal that we have for the product experience is to make it so that when people want to watch videos or want to keep up to date with what’s going on with their favorite show, or what’s going on with a public figure that they want to follow, that they can come to Facebook and go to a place knowing that that’s going to show them all the content that they’re interested in. That’s a pretty different intent than why people come to Facebook today.”
The hope is that rolling out videos with sound by default, launching a TV app, and supporting picture-in-picture will make Facebook more synonymous with video.