is wading into treacherous waters. The social media giant started testing out an autoplay video feature earlier this year that would silently play videos as you scroll past them in your NewsFeed
. That’s one thing is it’s videos from your friends or family, but it’s quite another when those videos are from advertisers
But that’s exactly what Facebook is planning to do. “Marketers will be able to use this new format to tell their stories to a large number of people on Facebook in a short amount of time - with high-quality sight, sound and motion,” wrote Facebook in a blog post. “This approach will continue to improve the quality of ads that you see in News Feed.”
The way it works is simple. As you scroll past a video ad, it will play without sound. If you want to actually view the video, you can tap or click it, and it will pop up in fullscreen, where you can enable sound. When it’s over, you’ll see two more related videos you can watch.
If you won’t wish to watch when you see a video in your NewsFeed, then you can just keep scrolling past the video and it will stop playing when it’s out of view.
Facebook has always been unapologetic about rolling out new features even when users vehemently protest, and this one will be no different. It’s probable that most users will grow accustomed to this autoplay thing quickly enough, but Facebook is walking a very fine line here. Implemented incorrectly, this is the kind of feature that could drive people nuts, and Facebook doesn’t need to give anyone any more reasons to bail on the service. There are many, many more social media sites out there these days, and teens may
(or may not
) be losing interest in Facebook.