Facebook boosts video viewing experience

Sound to videos within news feed; updates to vertical videos; watch and scroll feature; launches TV app
Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg


Facebook has launched several updates to improve the video experience for its viewers. The new updates will make the viewing experience more flexible allowing viewers to watch and share more videos.

Facebook’s new updates has brought sound to the videos in their news feed. Prior to this, Facebook users had to tap on a video to hear sound as it played silently in news feed.

“After testing sound on in news feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people,” Facebook states in a blog post. “With this update, sound fades in and out as you scroll through videos in news feed, bringing those videos to life.”

The videos will not play with sound if the phone is set to silent. Users can disable this feature by going to settings and switching off ‘Videos in News Feed Start with Sound’.

Another update by Facebook has made vertical videos look better on mobile devices. In 2016 Facebook got positive responses after testing a larger preview of vertical videos in news feed on mobile. A larger format is now available to users watching videos on iOS and Android.

Facebook’s additional update helps users to watch and scroll simultaneously. Facebook users can now watch videos and at the same time scroll through the news feed with the help of its picture-in-picture feature.

Facebook added: “It’s now possible to minimise the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in news feed. You can drag the video to any corner of the screen, and if you’re using an Android device, you can keep the video playing even when you exit the Facebook app to do something else on your phone.”

Facebook has also launched a new video app for TV for a bigger screen experience. With the advanced app, viewers can watch videos shared by friends, pages they follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on interests. The app enables its users to catch up on saved videos to watch later, as well as revisit videos watched, shared or uploaded. The app will roll out soon to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV.

“We look forward to seeing how people use the app to enjoy Facebook videos in a new way,” Facebook added in its blog post.


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