It’s hard to imagine the app without them, but Facebook’s autoplaying videos were a bit controversial back when they first started hitting users’ feeds almost 4 years ago. Worries over the app using excessive data were among some of the biggest concerns, but the fact that autoplaying videos were silent meant the they weren’t too intrusive. That is, until now.
Facebook announced today a handful of new features they hope will make videos a more pleasant experience in their app. One of which is the fact that videos — which already play automatically in your feed — will now do so at full volume by default. Before you freak out, Facebook says the app will still respect your phone’s current volume settings (so if your phone is on silent, videos be silent) and that there will be a new setting to mute autoplaying videos in your feed. Autoplaying videos wont interrupt media playback with music apps, so you don’t have to worry about it interfering.
Also planned for the app is a sort of picture-in-picture mode when you want to continue watching a video while you scroll through your feed (similar to the YouTube app), or even if you leave the app to do something else on your device thanks to a floating window. Smaller tweaks like full screen vertical video has also been added, but the biggest news could be the arrival of a Facebook video app for TV.
The Facebook video app — launching soon on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV — will give users the ability to browse Facebook videos on the largest screen in their home: the TV. The app is essentially Facebook’s version of YouTube, allowing users to watch videos shared by friends, check out trending videos from around the world, get recommend videos based on your interests, check out videos you’ve saved for later/uploaded/shared, and (the one feature I’ve been waiting for) revisit your video history.