Facebook is making a few changes to the way video works on the platform.
The most notable of these is that videos will now start playing with sound automatically. Previously users would have to tap the video to hear sound.
“As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on,” the social network said in a blog post.
The change will see the sound on a video fade-in as a user scrolls through their time line.
Now, we like being lazy as much as the next person but we’d prefer to tap the videos we want to hear sound for and ignore the ones we don’t want to hear the sound for.
If you’re like us you’ll need to go out of your way to change this new default by heading to Settings and switching off the option Videos in News Feed Start With Sound.
Sound will not play through Facebook if your device’s sound is off.
Vertical video is still a thing
Facebook is also making it easier to watch videos shot in portrait orientation on mobile.
Personally, I think videos shot in portrait are horrible to watch. Just tilt the phone people, it makes your video look so much better.
Whether you prefer video in portrait or landscape (the right orientation) you’ll now also be able to keep watching a video while you scroll through your timeline.
Users can drag a video they’re watching to the corner of their mobile’s screen and keep on watching the video as they check what their friends are up to.
Facebook has also said that Android users will be able to minimise the Facebook app and have a video continue to play while they do something else on their phone.
Facebook in the living room
Another addition to Facebook’s video arsenal is a Facebook Video app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV.
As the name suggests, users will be able to watch Facebook videos from the comfort of their living room.
It’s an interesting play from the social media giant given that video – despite Facebook’s continuous push – is not the core focus of the platform. YouTube – even with its numerous flaws and problems – is still the first name in video distribution for many creators though folks like Phillip Defranco have begun to embrace Facebook as a distribution platform.
While the updates were detailed yesterday the firm didn’t make mention of when these changes will be rolled out but at least now you know how to stop Facebook videos from playing sound while you sneakily browse your timeline at work.[Image – CC by 2.0/Mambembe Arts & Crafts]