Videos appearing in mobile Facebook (FB) news feeds will silently begin to play automatically. Tapping a video enables sound and leads it to play in full-screen mode. The feature is in test mode for now, but a broader rollout is promised.
Facebook: "At first, this feature will be limited to videos posted by individuals, musicians, and bands ... Over time, we’ll continue to explore how to bring this to marketers in the future." A spokeswoman says internal tests suggest the videos don't significantly hurt battery life.
The WSJ reported last month Facebook's pending video ads will also auto-play without sound. AdAge reported more recently Facebook has delayed its video ad launch to give itself more time to improve the user experience.
Facebook's auto-play announcement comes as peer Twitter steals headlines with its (confidential) IPO filing.