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Facebook Is Testing Autoplaying Video With Sound (thenextweb.com) 152

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook is testing a "feature" that autoplays video clips on your feed with sound. It's not a very big test, but there's a possibility the company could roll it out to a larger group of users. The Next Web reports: "The company is currently trying two methods of getting people to watch video with sound in Australia: the aforementioned autoplaying, and an unmute button on the lower right corner of videos, like Vine videos on a desktop. The latter certainly sounds more reasonable; the last thing you want is to be checking Facebook quickly during a meeting or class, and suddenly have your phone blaring out an advert because you happened to stop on a video. Thankfully, you can disable the 'feature' from your settings, but the point is there's nothing wrong with the current opt-in approach, especially considering how many companies are embracing video captioning, and that Facebook even has its own auto-caption tool for advertisers." "We're running a small test in News Feed where people can choose whether they want to watch videos with sound on from the start," a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable Australia. "For people in this test who do not want sound to play, they can switch it off in Settings or directly on the video itself. This is one of several tests we're running as we work to improve the video experience for people on Facebook."
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Facebook Is Testing Autoplaying Video With Sound

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  • Just no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:03AM (#52761541)

    Stop telling me what I want to see and hear.

    Stop loading tens of megabytes without my direct consent.

    Stop taking control away from me and making me have to jump through hoops to get it back.

    If I want to watch a video I will goddamned well click on the PLAY button. If I do not click on the PLAY button chances are the video was not interesting to me in the first place.

    • Re:Just no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Knightman ( 142928 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:11AM (#52761589)

      But but but how then are they going to be able play paid content containing ads about something totally irrelevant?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Irrelevant ads only waste your time. Relevant ads may waste your money too. Be more concerned about the targeted ads.

      • ...than organizations/developers who turn on my muted speakers to play their fucking content.

        And don't fucking start with turn off this or turn off that. I turned off the speakers and that should be enough. If you turn them on, you are a cock sucking asshole who should die in a car fire.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        It will not be irrelevant. What marketing companies are doing is to analyze the data to determine who is most likely to be interested in a certain add. They do this by looking at e.g. your location, your gender, things you previously liked and your age. There are hundreds of data points they use to analyze this before they decide to send you the specified ad. This will lead to about 0.73% of the people who actually might be interested in the product.

        And then to be sure, they also send it to everybody else,

      • Ads are a SERVICE. Shut up and take it.
      • Isn't that the biggest scam of all? The advertisers are getting billed for these impressions even though the only thing I'm doing when they come on and trying to understand how to make the crapflood stop. If I do even notice the logo/brand involved, my impressions is extremely negative.

        Exactly the opposite of the impression a good advertisement should create.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Stop telling me what I want to see and hear.

      Stop loading megabytes without my direct consent.

      Stop taking control away from me and making me have to jump through hoops to get it back.

      If I want to load an image I will goddamned well click on it.

      Welcome to being old. It's 2016, and the web we were promised by neckbeards has arrived.

      And it turns out, it's just as consumer whorish as they were orgasming about back in the day.

    • Stop telling me what I want to see and hear.

      Stop loading tens of megabytes without my direct consent.

      Stop taking control away from me and making me have to jump through hoops to get it back.

      If I want to watch a video I will goddamned well click on the PLAY button. If I do not click on the PLAY button chances are the video was not interesting to me in the first place.

      I used to use Facebook when I was waiting in doctors offices and other boring places to catch up on family while I had time to kill. I don't anymore because it has just become a non-stop stream of autoplaying video. That's exactly how I want to kill my phone battery, Facebook! How did you know? It's so stupid.

      • If you use the Facebook app, it has a feature to turn off the autoplaying videos as you are expected to be on mobile data networks, and they don't want you to incur a huge bill as it would reflect negatively on them.

        I wish they would understand that NO ONE likes autoplaying videos, but many companies don't seem to get that (CNN is horrible about it, to the point of working around autoplay blockers).

        • If you use the Facebook app, it has a feature to turn off the autoplaying videos as you are expected to be on mobile data networks, and they don't want you to incur a huge bill as it would reflect negatively on them.

          I wish they would understand that NO ONE likes autoplaying videos, but many companies don't seem to get that (CNN is horrible about it, to the point of working around autoplay blockers).

          Why would you make "Autoplay Videos on Cellular Networks" the default setting? And then their own CTO or some other exec was just saying a month or two ago that they expect all the content on there to be video in the next 5 years. No thanks. But I agree, CNN is especially bad. If I wanted to see the news instead of reading it, I would turn on CNN instead of go to their website.

          • I don't remember which way the app's default is, I don't use Facebook much, but remember seeing a (/.?) story about the tickbox being available.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      While I agree with your sentiments, your first sentence seems odd:

      Stop telling me what I want to see and hear.

      Isn't that the whole point of Facebook? That they tell you what you want to see? I thought it was a curated (by algorithm) feed?

    • Just one more reason to delete my facepalm account
    • You choose to run a web browser. An application platform that allows anyone to send unseen unproven code to your machine and execute it. You attempt to complain about something you instigated, and were even warned would happen.

      If you really cared about what they execute on your machine, you would look it over prior to executing it in your browser. You did not, so you do not. Pipe down, others are paying attention.

    • The problem is these UI / UX "experts" forgot the first rule:

      Opt-In, not Opt-out.

      There should be toggle for this crap, with it defaulting to OFF.

      Shitty UI is what happens when you let the bean counters run things. I guess pissing off your user base is part of their corporate strategy now due to their myopic vision.

    • Re:Just no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @11:03AM (#52762527) Journal

      "Stop" (insert annoying thing here)

      Stop using Facebook.

      Here's the hard, cold, uncomfortable truth: You're getting all entitled because it's been free to access all this time, and now they're leveraging the fact that you're all entrenched in Facebook, and they're making you PAY more and more by putting more and more ads in your face, and collecting and selling more and more of your information. If you were PAYING to use Facebook then it would be a different story, but you're not; you're a FREELOADER, and now the bill is coming due -- and you're getting all upset over it.

      STOP USING FACEBOOK. Just say goodbye to your fake online friends, close the account, and WALK AWAY. This is literally the ONLY course of action you have. Seriously: How long do you think it'll be now before they change the terms of service to make it against site policy for you to use ANY adblocker or do ANYTHING to avoid ads or data collection? STOP USING FACEBOOK.

      • STOP USING FACEBOOK.

        before the terms of service make it illegal to stop. You have been warned.

        • I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and allow you an opportunity to clarify: Are you mocking Facebook, or are you mocking me?
    • Everything you've just said is why it'll blow up in their faces, and Facebook will start the uncomfortable process of announcing year on year losses of users.

      They're essentially duplicating Twitter's mistakes, and not recognizing they were mistakes. Some years ago, Twitter decided to keep tweaking their service. @ replies were hidden. Trending Topics was no longer annotated. Then oodles of JS was added to their service, making it clumsy and unreliable.

      Then came the real killers, images and previews. We

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:05AM (#52761545)

    not to use FB

    • I'm really looking forward to when i can call something old hat by saying "That's so Facebook!"
      • I'm really looking forward to when i can call something old hat by saying "That's so Facebook!"

        Just start saying, "Go back to Facebook, grampa!" Say it anywhere everywhere at the slightest provocation, even if it doesn't apply. Especially if it doesn't apply. Post "Go back to Facebook, grampa!" memes on Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. We'll start a trend and slowly sway the masses into abandoning Facebook.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I keep hoping Facebook will die, this is a good step towards that goal.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Looks like some fierce competition here for the coveted "Most Asinine Idea of 2016" award between Facebook for this bullshit and Apple for ditching headphone jacks.

  • by LichtSpektren ( 4201985 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:05AM (#52761553)
    Mandatory: https://xkcd.com/134/ [xkcd.com]
    • Re:Mandatory xkcd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:21AM (#52761643) Homepage

      The people who make the decisions to have auto-playing videos on their sites should be beaten with sticks.

      Not the IT/web guys implementing it. The execs/marketing guys who go "Yeah, that's what we need. Autoplaying videos with minimal sound controls." Beaten. With sticks.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Beaten. With sticks.

        Agreed. They should be hung like the huge dicks they are.

  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:16AM (#52761615) Homepage

    Because nothing says "better video experience" like autoplay on a web page.

  • This is one of several tests we're running as we work to improve the video experience for people on Facebook."

    As long as one of the tests is getting rid of them all together. What was wrong with just putting a sideways triangle over the still that says hey this is a video, click me to play it.

    These are supposed to be internet people, they should know that autoplay is the devil's code and it has no place in any self respecting web space.

    • What was wrong with it is you aren't likely going to click on a video for an advertisement. I'm not sure why people aren't grasping this concept. Everyone should be using adblock at this point, and flashcontrol or whatever extension stops videos from autoplaying.
      • No, I'm not likely going to click an ad so it can blare at me and show me shit I ain't interested in. That's exactly the problem with ads.

        If you think the music industry is stuck in the buggy whip times, you haven't seen nothing yet before taking a look at the advertising industry. They are really stuck in the "push" technologies that newspapers and (more even) TV offered them: We put it there and they have to consume it 'cause they have no choice. We interrupt your program for our messages and they have to

    • I just use the FlashControl add on for firefox to make the entire internet do this. One extra click when I want to see something is way easier IMO than trying to filter out what I wouldn't want.

  • Figures.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:17AM (#52761623)
    I only use FB for communication with some hard headed family members that can't be bothered to understand email and a bit of business related stuff. The 3rd time an update set auto-play videos back to on on my mobile devices (wasting my data for their shit), I uninstalled. I check once every week or so from a desktop. FB can go fuck itself.
  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:19AM (#52761631)

    I prefer to start videos manually on sites dedicated to streaming video. Those are sites where I expect to watch videos, and the video is going to be visible on the screen when the page loads. It gives me a chance to ensure that I'm on the right page, a chance to read the description, and a chance to prepare to watch the video (because sometimes I'm just looking for stuff that I want to watch).

    As for autoplaying video on a site that serves a different purpose altogether, after clicking a link that I may not even know links to a video, that's a definite turn-off.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The best way to improve your experience is to stop using FB.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I do't touch Facebook with a ten-foot pole (less so with a browser I don't know whose tool it is: mine or "the industry's").

    That said, I'm happy all those shenanigans stop working once I castrate my browser to not execute Javascript. You can't imagine what a peace of mind that brings.

  • I easily blow through my 5G data plan on my iPad just READING ARTICLES! Gonna have to start checking to see who's serving up 50M+ pages with all the ads and videos and remove them from my feeds. Except it's everyone now, isn't it. Blew through 150M yesterday in 30 minutes of reading articles. How do we fix this?
  • Auto playing ads and fake news just like the sites that used to have so many flash ad's your system will just slow down and suck down a lot of bandwidth.

  • I learned long ago to keep my media sound turned off on all my devices. Facebook is certainly not the first site or app to want to play sounds without your explicit permission, but you control the hardware so if you must browse Facebook, you can at least turn off your sound and simply turn it back up when there's something you really want to hear.

    I know it's not an ideal solution but sometimes you have to live with the solution that you can actually control. Bitching about the ideology doesn't help as
    • by Tvingo ( 229109 )

      Yeah, I've resorted to leaving all my devices in mute until I actually want to hear something. It's a must at work, if you leave your volume on you never know when something might just blare out.

  • This just in! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @08:49AM (#52761781)

    Facebook testing how long it takes to reach 100% usage of adblocking software in its user base.

  • Chrome Extension (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PixelPusher1532 ( 819070 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @09:06AM (#52761881)
    I don't really use facebook. However, I would love a chrome extension that would allow me to have the sound turned off in the browser and selectively enable on a tab by tab basis.
    • I think I found one that does this. Named 'mute tab'. Just installed it, seems to work ok for the first five minutes. Oddly enough, when looking at the settings, the one site in the whitelist was facebook.com
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Next up: autoplay midis and blinking text! Because half the people using Facebook either weren't alive or aren't old enough to remember the true horrors of bad late 90s web design. And you think those full-screen ads are bad!

  • This is a great idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @09:09AM (#52761897) Homepage Journal

    One of the problems we face today, is that some people are, believe it or not, still using Facebook. I think this will help.

    • I use Facebook to follow all my favorite bands in one place, and to keep tabs on which friends are going to which concerts.

      That's about it, everything else on FB can go screw itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    FB is becoming MySpace. And the auto-play feature of MySpace is the very reason I stopped using it. Not a good plan FB.

  • by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @09:35AM (#52762029) Homepage

    And with one decision Facebook ruins any goodwill they had and guilt I had about blocking their ads.

    Popups. Talking ads. Redirects. Full page bullshit. PDF malware. Any of these make me feel completely justified in blocking ads.

  • Next they will be experimenting with and maybe !!!

    The future is here and it looks a LOT like 1990.
    Another reason to avoid Facebook like the plague, as if I needed another.
  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @09:48AM (#52762115)
    Well folks, it has happened. facebook has taken to total abuse of its product (the product being facebook "members" whose info is sold to advertisers).
  • just what exactly is the test testing ?
  • by zarmanto ( 884704 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @10:03AM (#52762199) Journal

    And in next month's hypothetical news...

    UPDATE: Facebook Cancels Autoplay For Videos

    A report out today states that Facebook's usage statistics dropped precipitously over the past month, as users apparently simply stopped casually opening Facebook on their mobile phones almost entirely. One incensed user reports that his Facebook feed just suddenly started blaring an advertisement for Trojan condoms, right in the middle of his Sunday morning church service. Says the user, who prefers to remain anonymous, "I was totally shocked and embarrassed! I mean, I have never -- never, I tell ya -- shopped for condoms online! I mean, don't tell my girlfriend, but sure... I've surfed a little porn now and then -- but how the heck could Facebook know about that??"

    Facebook executives cast the entire blame for this dip in usage on a software technician who had developed and deployed the new "Autoplay" feature for videos showing up in end-users news feeds, which was silently rolled out to all users and which naturally defaults to "on." The feature has now been rolled back in a panicked effort to minimize any further damage, but analysts are skeptical that the once overwhelmingly popular service will be able to reclaim its former glory. One executive was quoted as saying, "Hey, don't look at me! It's all that developer's fault -- and trust me, we've sacked him but good!" This reporter has asked Facebook for more details on what happened to the executive who authorized the new feature, but Facebook has not yet responded to queries as of press time.

  • by nucrash ( 549705 ) on Wednesday August 24, 2016 @10:17AM (#52762267)

    Not because everyone's pages were complete clusters of vomit flung on to pages, but the damn execution of music for ever page I jumped on and then when I would open eight tabs, I would have to listen to eight songs loading at once.

    Facebook on the other hand was this clean cut, very professional looking website that didn't need any of these advertising dollars at the time.
    Monetization wasn't a big deal at the time and the platform was solid. Fast forward a decade and we see this cluster that I left a decade earlier.

    Why? Why should we deal with this bull?

  • It would seem that on a long enough timeline, all social media devolves into the same overwrought mess of flashing lights and blaring noise.

    And then dies

  • Perhaps you shouldn't be on Facebook in class and meetings? Also helps that I don't use Facebook.
  • All this HTML5 is a way to send us more ads that are harder to block. No thanks!
  • Tell me how to turn it off before it starts? :-)

    • In Pale Moon, and possibly Firefox, change 2 settings in "about:config" as follows...

      media.autoplay.allowscripted; false
      media.autoplay.enabled; false

  • It's real simple: this is apparently what "people" want, based on their behavior.

    Alternatives (paid, and cheap) have attempted to make your "social media" something where you're the customer, not the product (see http://app.net/ [app.net] - "people" have mostly rejected it, whether on philosophical grounds (I'm not paying for this!), or for critical mass problems (But everyone I want to talk to used Facebook!). Primarily, it just seems that they want it free and don't value being a customer - they're fine being the p

  • You have 158,932 annoying video notifications of people who know scratching themselves, burping, and brushing their teeth.

  • They know, well, that people don't want auto-play video with sound.

    History has shown that users will block such things with a vengeance or walk away from a service that won't stop this sort of nasty behavior.

    Yet FACEBOOK is going to try it again. Like it wasn't fucking obnoxious and undesirably the first umpty-fuckin-bajillion times it was tried.

    But hey. Go ahead! Make your platform ever more irrelevant! All in the name of chasing ad dollars!

    You fucking twits...

  • Coming next: Facebook tests out modal popup windows as a means of delivering the content - aka ads - people really want to see, rather than wasting their time taking them directly to things like profiles, pictures, or their wall.

    And as a bonus, pop-under porn ads, so you can enjoy one last bit of joy from Facebook while desperately trying to close out of your browser as the boss approaches.
  • In other news, facebook is also testing a new web platform that will launch emergent windows that "pop up" on your screen, urging you to "hit the monkey" and win fabulous prizes.
  • Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a foix gras goose, to become the epitome of the best pate? Well now you can, in the form of force fed videos paid for by our sponsors. Enjoy!

  • 1 - Don't use the stupid shit. However, if you think you must use it:
    2 - Use a good ad blocker. Of course, this will be a cat and mouse game between the ad company (Facebook) and the ad-blockers (various).
    3 - Use firefox and a little "about:config" followed by search for "autoplay". Until you land on "media.autoplay.enabled" and set the boolean value to false. Good for all sorts of crap websites that want to autoplay videos on you.

    You're welcome.

  • Autoplaying audio on websites? Why are the hell are we regressing!

  • I can choose where I look, but I cannot choose what enters my ears. No matter how I twist and turn, audio invades my personal space.

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