Facebook testing video with autoplay sound in News Feed

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Credit: http://sirasa.com/facebook-logo/

Facebook needs your help—that is if you live in Australia. The social media behemoth is testing autoplay video clips on News Feed with sounds. Maybe not the kind of news some users would like to read; especially with what the Web has become of late.

The network is testing two ways of getting users to watch video and sound in that country (Australia). The test will feature autoplay and an unmute button on the lower right corner of videos, reports Mashable. Only a few users in Australia will notice autoplay on all types of videos, including ads and Facebook Live; but of course, the test will act differently on their mobile.

In one version of the test, according to report, sounds play almost as soon as the video begins—and that’s for those who have sound enabled on their device. The second group is able to turn on sound during the test session using an icon at the bottom right of videos.

I am convinced that the second group won’t have issues with being in charge or control of whether sounds are turned on or not. It is just a test to find out how users react to autoplay as against when they have the chance to control how things work. It can be pretty embarrassing to suddenly have a loud sound coming out of your Facebook account while checking the News Feed during an interview session for example.

For the first group, it’s not like you can’t disable the feature; but it doesn’t just happen by default. Like I said earlier, it’s just a test and since Facebook makes a lot of money from video ads, one would normally expect tests like this once in a while.

As a matter of fact, the two groups of people see a pop-up message instructing them on how to use the controls. It’s also interesting; not annoying though, that sound won’t play when the volume of your smartphone is turned down.

“We’re running a small test in News Feed where people can choose whether they want to watch videos with sound on from the start,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable Australia. “For people in this test who do not want sound to play, they can switch it off in Settings or directly on the video itself.

“This is one of several tests we’re running as we work to improve the video experience for people on Facebook.”

Facebook users are used to not having video sounds autoplay while accessing the network; and I think that sits home fine with everyone. Changing it to suit advertisers or other reasons may just not work for majority of the people. In any case, Facebook says you can always set sound to “always off,” which is fine by me.

Since it’s only a test (hopefully it remains that way and not change), I think we may just have to sit back and see if the feature will eventually be rolled out to global users.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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