Facebook is introducing various changes to the ways people watch videos on the platform. Not all of these changes may be viewed with the same level of fondness, however.
The updates on their way include videos auto-playing with sound, vertical video improvements, a watch and scroll feature, and the introduction of a Facebook Video app for TV.
The ‘auto-play with sound’ feature will see audio fade in and out as the user scrolls past videos on the Facebook app – but only if the device volume is already on. Luckily, the feature can be disabled in settings under ‘Videos in News Feed start with sound’.
“Videos in News Feed have previously played silently — you tap on a video to hear sound,” said Facebook in a blog post. “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.”
The ‘vertical videos’ update means Facebook has introduced a larger preview of vertical videos, in a bid to make the videos ‘look better on mobile devices’. Meanwhile, the ‘watch and scroll’ introduction enables the user to minimise the video they are watching into a picture-in-picture view – so they can continue watching the video while browsing Facebook. In addition, Android users will be able to keep videos playing even when exiting the Facebook app.
The final change comes in the form of a Facebook Video app arriving on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, for the time being. Facebook says the app will enable the user to watch videos shared, live videos from around the world and recommend videos. It will also store saved videos to watch later and let the user revisit videos they have previously interacted with.