Facebook just announced several tweaks to the way video will start performing on its service soon. However, in the name of enhancing “customer experience,” Facebook is adding one change that is likely to drive a significant number of users slightly crazy: Not only auto-playing videos, but making sure to do it with sound blaring.
That’s part of a slate of announcements Facebook made today. Among them are new apps for “couch side” devices, like your AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as better display framing for vertical video.
But right at the top, Facebook touts that it is about to make your news feed louder.
“Videos in News Feed have previously played silently — you tap on a video to hear sound,” Facebook explains.
But now, it’s changing its tactic. If your phone volume is on, videos in your Facebook feed will not only play automatically, but will have their sound on. Because everyone loves that so much when news websites and ads do it, right?
Sound will also basically doppler in and out as you scroll through your news feed. When you get near one, the sound will fade in, and as you slide on past, it will fade out.
If your phone is set to silent, videos will not automatically play with sound, Facebook notes.
For what it’s worth, Facebook tells advertisers that in its user testing, 70% of folks who heard sound automatically play by default simply left it on. Luckily, for the other 30% of us, there are options.
If you want to be able to keep your phone volume on and not have whatever happens to be in your news feed announce itself to the room you’re in, here’s how you can disable that:
On Apple (iOS) devices, you can find the setting under Settings > Account Settings > Sounds, and then use the toggle to disable “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound.”
On Android devices, select “App Settings” and then scroll down to the toggle for “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound.”
(If you don’t see these options, the update hasn’t yet rolled out to you, but it will.)