Facebook Autoplay Videos: Neat New Feature, or Gateway for Ads?

September 16th, 2013  |  By Elizabeth O'Dowd

Soon, videos your friends post will automatically play when scrolled over. Facebook has begun testing this mobile feature in select areas of the United States.

Videos in your News Feed will begin to play automatically, but without sound. To activate sound, you simply expand the video in full screen mode. This will allow you to see video content, void of noise while you are in public, or to preview a video that you can watch later. The only videos that will autoplay are ones uploaded directly by users, or through photo apps like instagram.

This seems like a nice idea, but it can also open the door for the ever-hated video ad. This feature is only being tested right now, but once it catches on, it’s only a matter of time before Facebook introduces autoplay video ads into your News Feed. No word yet on whether this feature will be for mobile users only.

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