Facebook had recently changed the video settings in its app to play videos automatically, which changed the users’ experience.
The once predominantly social app has highlighted the importance of media as a part of the online experience through activating videos as you screen through your timeline.
This proved to be a more engaging experience, with video sharing and live streaming becoming commonly used features, nowadays.
The next level:
Facebook recently announced a new addition to its experience –which they have been testing since August: videos will not only play automatically, but the default sound setting will be set to “on”.
This means that while you skim through your feed, if the sound on your phone is on, videos will fully come to life with motion and sound, fading in and out with the flow of your feed.
This also poses the possibility of Facebook’s app being more involved in music streaming, however that still remains unclear.
As with new change, this feature poses some questions about how users will choose to interact with the app, because of the potential noisiness of the new feature and how users could easily be caught off guard with the sound on.
These concerns are recognized by the company, as Dan Rose (Facebook’s vice president of partnerships) mentioned at Recode’s Code Media conference by stating their goal is to remain user-friendly and that the app will always respect the user’s phone settings: “if sound is on your phone, we’ll default to sound on rather than off.”
He also mentioned that although there are some potential pitfalls the current users are “pretty conscious”, mentioning that when the company first started the auto-play feature “it was very new to people”, but now users have a good grasp of how to handle it.
What this means for users who attempt a quick glance at their newsfeed, is that they should make sure that their phone is set to silent mode, or the feature is disabled from the app’s settings panel.
Will this redefine Facebook?
It is clear that by introducing this new feature Facebook is further evolving from a social networking platform, to an engaging multimedia platform where you no longer think of shared media as a post that can be ignored, but you start to view it in a way akin to Youtube.
However, the company will still have to handle the feedback from users when this feature is activated, since this change should expect some resistance at first.