Facebook videos in your News Feed will soon autoplay with sound on


Social Media Week

Videos will soon autoplay with the sound on in your Facebook News Feed. This could completely change the way advertisers and publishers create video content.

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Facebook is getting closer to two billion people on the platform, and as this number continues to grow, the amount of videos created, watched, and shared across Facebook does too.

For digital marketers, video has become one of the most important methods for reaching these people, and one of the key pillars of Facebook video content is visually captivating someone within the first three seconds. This is because videos in your News Feed don’t have sound unless a user clicks or taps the video.

The way marketers create videos could entirely change

This tactic may completely change after Facebook announced videos will autoplay with the sound on in your News Feed. In the announcement, Dana Sittler (Product Manager) and Alex Li (Engineering Manager) at Facebook say this update (plus a few others) will make watching video on Facebook richer, more engaging and more flexible.

How to prevent videos from autoplaying sound

The update is slowly rolling out to Facebook users, and when it arrives on your devices, the sound will fade in and out as you scroll through videos in your News Feed. This change will likely annoy some people, enhance the News Feed experience for others, and perhaps make no difference to the majority. Either way, Facebook explains how to change your settings if you’d like to keep News Feed videos on Facebook autoplaying without sound.

“If your phone is set to silent, videos will not play with sound. If you never want videos to play with sound, you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” in Settings. We’ll also be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.”

Recent news and updates to Facebook video

We already know how much time and money Facebook is investing into its video experience, both for users and advertisers. Essentially, it’s one of the key things that represents the future of the business.

We’ve recently seen Facebook announce they will prioritize longer videos, add 360° videos to the News Feed, continuously improve Facebook Live, and introduce “Stories” to the main Facebook app.

Why is Facebook doing this?

If you’re wondering why Facebook is making this change, here are some likely reasons (H/T Josh Constine of TechCrunch)

  • Your device’s audio on-off-vibrate switch becomes more important
  • Other apps like Snapchat and YouTube autoplay audio
  • Advertisers can create more compelling videos that rely on sound
  • Subtitles might be burdensome to publishers and marketers

Example of autoplaying sound + update to vertical videos

Facebook demonstrates the new autoplay sound feature in the video below, as well as a few other updates. Most notably, the formatting of vertical videos on mobile in your News Feed will look a lot better and function smoother. This will likely be consistent with the look and feel of Facebook Stories once that feature arrives to users.

Learn about video storytelling from Facebook executives

We’re looking forward to hearing from Michelle Klein (Marketing Director, North America, Facebook) and Megan Summers (Global Head of Production, Facebook) at Social Media Week New York later this month. Michelle will discuss the future of video in advertising, and Megan will explore new storytelling principles and languages in the age of VR, 360 and the Feed.

Passes to attend #SMWNYC are officially sold out, but you can sign up for our livestreaming service, SMW Insider, to watch these two events plus 100 others this February 28 to March 3.



Tyler Becker

Director of Content, Social Media Week

TylerJBecker

Tyler is the Director of Content at Crowdcentric and Social Media Week. He writes about digital media, entertainment, emerging tech, Internet silly-billies, mobile apps, and more. Oh, and he likes craft beer, travel, and podcasts.



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