Facebook's had video for a while now, and while it doesn't yet rival YouTube for overall views, it's definitely seeing more and more people watching things as they browse. Accordingly, we're all used to scrolling through the Facebook News Feed and flicking a video's sound on. Everyone is going to have to get used to not having to do this anymore, as Facebook has announced sound will be on by default for any video as it's scrolled past.
Videos will play with sound as they're scrolled through in the News Feed, then stop once they've disappeared from view. This change is almost certainly going to be controversial. Personally, I browse Facebook in quiet places - my local library, for example, or occasionally in group meetings. Sound on by default means that we'll all have to be more careful with those kinds of situations. However, there is a new setting, 'Videos in News Feed Start With Sound,' to turn this off, luckily. Similarly, if the phone is set to silent, sound will be off, but the video will still play as normal.
The other changes are, on the whole, smaller, although with the size of Facebook's userbase, they're bound to cause rankles with some users. Vertical videos now display better on the screen, with the video taking up more space on the News Feed. A video can also be minimized, similar to the YouTube Android app, so the Feed can still be scrolled as a video is playing in the bottom right. Lastly, a Facebook app for TV platforms is being rolled out to various app stores, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV. Curiously, Android TV is not included, but Facebook does say there are "more platforms to come," so maybe that means the company is having issues with our favorite TV OS.
The video sound change is rolling out slowly to Facebook users across the world, while the vertical video tweak is available now. Facebook doesn't say when the minimized video feature will see action, but it can't be too far away. If you've not got Facebook on your device, the app is available on the Google Play Store, or at APK Mirror.
- Facebook Newsroom