Useful… or just annoying? Facebook to trial new feature that automatically plays videos in news feeds

Facebook is to begin testing a new mobile feature that plays videos automatically as users scroll through their news feeds.

The videos will begin playing as they come into view on the screen, and users can preview them within the feed without clicking on or opening them.

Each video will play silently and can be viewed with sound upon clicking.

The new capability will only be rolled out to a small group of random users, and videos will only play automatically if they are uploaded directly to Facebook — not embedded from other sites like YouTube.

The social media behemoth hopes the added functionality will let users get more out of the video content on their feed, particularly since the site lets users preview the video without interrupting the scroll.

For now, the new autoplay feature only applies to videos uploaded by individuals, bands and musicians, but Facebook said it could be open to advertisers in the future.

No details were released regarding a timeline for rolling out the feature to all users, or whether it will be available for Facebook’s desktop platform.

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