The Facebook app for Android received an update yesterday on the beta channel, and one new feature is about to make the app rather intrusive. Auto-playing videos are quite possibly my least favorite things on the internet, and Facebook has decided to make that a thing on our mobile devices. Which could also cause a lot of data overage charges.
Videos on your news feed will soon auto-play, without audio, and a quick tap by the user will show that you're interested and the audio will come alive. Facebook confirmed in a recent blog post that this new "feature" (aka annoying addition) is now present on the desktop, and will be rolling out in stages to mobile devices.
We're not sure if this is for the beta channel only, or if all Facebook for Android users will start seeing this, but it's already active on all of my devices. Scrolling through Facebook you'll find videos instantly playing on their own, even if you're not interested one bit. Personally I don't like the feature, especially on mobile, and hopefully this doesn't make the final cut.
Facebook says this will make your news feed more dynamic and exciting but we're not sold on the idea. For those who aren't interested, a long press will give you the option to turn off auto-play. Something I did immediately. In the long run this will be added to Facebook ads, which is the bigger picture here. Enjoy those news feed videos guys.