Videos in Facebook’s mobile app will soon start playing automatically. Just like in Instagram or Vine, as soon as you scroll to the video in your feed, that particular video will begin to play. The audio will apparently remain silent until the video itself is tapped, in which case the volume will become unmuted. The new feature is in an effort to make the presence of video on mobile more seamless; the automatic nature means there’s little the end user needs to do—just consume information.
The move is also part of a much larger initiative to feed users video ads, which are apparently coming to the platform very soon. By introducing the feature to user uploaded videos, the presence of autoplay in ads might not seem as harsh; it’s Facebook’s way of gently easing users into watching stuff they most likely don’t want to watch. Once ads are introduced to Facebook mobile platform, they’ll apparently be fifteen seconds long.
Facebook says the move is to make watching videos in your feed easier. That’s most likely just a nice way of convincing people to accept it. Vine and Instagram have already introduce autoplay options into mobile, and autoplay is rampant all over the Internet, so the move shouldn’t be all that surprising. Users might not mind when they’re watching a video of their friends, but when it’s an ad? So not cool.