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Facebook To Autoplay Videos With Sound On By Default (androidandme.com) 116

Currently, Facebook videos autoplay on your News Feed as you scroll up and down. While they eat data and various resources, the saving grace is that they are silent -- that is, until now. Facebook has announced several new changes to its video platform today, including a setting that will autoplay videos with sound turned on by default. Android and Me reports: The audio of videos will fade in and out as you're scrolling through your feed. Fortunately, Facebook will at least make it so that audio won't autoplay if your phone is set to silent. If you're not a fan of this change, there will be a setting to turn audio autoplay off. The change is that it will now be on by default for everyone. Other feature introductions are larger previews for vertical videos, a picture-in-picture mode for videos so you can watch and continue scrolling (and even exit the app without interrupting the video on Android), and a Facebook Video app coming to smart TVs.
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Facebook To Autoplay Videos With Sound On By Default

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  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @07:42PM (#53869497) Journal

    Employers rejoice as productivity increases.

    • by saloomy ( 2817221 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @07:44PM (#53869515)
      This will just lead to browsers muting sound by default
      • by Slashdot Junky ( 265039 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:20PM (#53869701)

        While you may be correct, all videos, audio, and animated image formats should be click-to-play by default. The move to HTML5 video and audio has been especially annoying for me, because Firefox seems to not support this simple functionality. It is way overdue. My preference is for the elements to not be downloaded until I click play. This isn't limited to ad-related content. A lot of articles, news or not, include video clips that aren't needed since the words are sufficient.

        • While I tend to agree, I think there are some times when it's appropriate to have auto-playing content (maybe only restricted to silent content). For example, multimedia-rich pages such as this [nytimes.com] benefit from a tasteful (in my opinion) use of multimedia.

          That said, the ability to choose click-to-play settings (either globally or domain-specific) would be a Good Thing.

          And of course, there's a special place in hell for any website which allows auto-play ads with audio.
          • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:36PM (#53869807) Homepage Journal

            Even if it is silent, it is still wasting huge amounts of battery power for content that the user may not even care about. Choose a keyframe that adequately explains the content of the video, and if users want to watch the video, they can click. If a user is too lazy to click to play the video, that user didn't really care about playing it anyway, so playing it was a waste of power.

            • I respectfully disagree -- regarding the battery issue, how much of an issue is this with proper GPU decoding? I know Netflix doesn't instantly sap the battery on my phone.

              Regarding "Choose a keyframe that adequately explains the content of the video...", are you saying that's what you would prefer, or are you saying that's essentially the only thing that should be allowed by the standard? I guess there are several issues here, one is the design issue of when it is and isn't appropriate to use this -- an
          • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @09:26PM (#53870117)

            I have yet to find a single case, ever, that I would think that autoplaying video and/or audio on a website is appropriate. It is just plain, 100% annoying and presumptuous. Offer a NON ANIMATED option to play something and give the user a choice.

            Besides being extremely annoying, unwanted video consumes TONS of bandwidth, CPU, and battery on devices.

            I absolutely predicted how annoying the web would become when site designers got a hold of these "wonderful" tools that were coming and have been dreading what was coming. We used to be able to stop this crap in its tracks with addons/plugins that restricted Flash, and disable animated GIF's. Those days are now gone. Turn off javascript and 90% of websites just flat out break. Turn off HTML5 video/audio and then you have no access to ANY video/audio.

            The web is turning into TV- something for sites to FORCE what they want you to see, they way they want you to see it. Want to use a smaller window for your browser? Well too F'ing bad! Want a nice menu at the top so you can jump to the info you want? Well too F'ing bad! Want to read something without things jumping in front of you over and over? Well too F'ing bad- "we want your feedback" "subscribe!" "take our survey" "click here to chat!!" Want to know how big a page is? Well too F'ing bad- it scrolls forever, adding more and more without warning? Want to just see some actual content? Well too F'ing bad- you have to wade through multi megapixel useless images, sectionalized areas, side scrolling, junk with tons of while space. Want to try and read something without distraction? Well too F'ing bad- every single site has to have animated junk all over it, constantly moving and scrolling. Want to click on something and have instant action because your time is important? Well too F'ing bad- we are going to make EVERYTHING fade in and fade out, scroll in and scroll out. Ug!!!!!!!!!!

            Sorry, this stuff touched a nerve. A big one.

            • Well, the web has been moving toward TV-like delivery and styling for quite a while now, and I am certain that it was declared in the early days once commercialization of the web really took off to be TV's future as far as how content produces hoped to use it one day.

            • Streaming video websites which are opened in the foreground tab of the active window, because visiting those sites is indication of user intent to view the video. That's also, of course, TV-like by design.

              There's a fair argument to be made that this is not sufficiently compelling in the fact of sites that want to play annoying bullshit and pretend to be a streaming video website, but I also think this is a legitimate case that we have to acknowledge that we are breaking. There are ways around this, eg. si

            • Hear hear.
              I start to seriously miss the 1990ies web, with frames, the blink tag, and netscape now buttons.

              • Hear hear.
                I start to seriously miss the 1990ies web, with frames, the blink tag, and netscape now buttons.

                Even irritating flashing animated-GIF ads from the era are better than what we have now. At least they were efficient with their use of bandwidth.

                FTFA:

                if you're not a fan of this change, there will be a setting to turn audio autoplay off.

                Just like how there's a setting in newsfeed to show "Most recent" instead of "Top stories" that is ALWAYS honored?

            • Thank you markdavis! For this very reason I avoid videos and read instead. Video is a time waster.
            • Sounds like what we need is a Greasemonkey script that finds audio and video elements, removes them from the DOM, and replaces them with simple visual elements with onclick listeners that restore the original audio or video element. Probably it should remove the autoplay attribute in the process, and force the control attribute on. There may be such a script already at userscripts.org. (I'd write one myself if I didn't have plenty of real work stacked up. Though if I get sufficiently annoyed at some A/V-usi

          • While I do agree that animation can add something useful and meaningful to the words-based content, I'd rather see pages and sites like your example clearly show at the top buttons/links for simple and wiz-bang versions of the page in place of their providers only coding to the wiz-bang style. It should be the wiz-bang that is the linked alternative to simple version. In your example, neither of the animation contributed anything needed to the work that couldn't be sufficiently convey through a static ima

          • so there's a special place in hell for prime time journalists?

          • While I tend to agree, I think there are some times when it's appropriate to have auto-playing content (maybe only restricted to silent content). For example, multimedia-rich pages such as this [nytimes.com] benefit from a tasteful (in my opinion) use of multimedia. That said, the ability to choose click-to-play settings (either globally or domain-specific) would be a Good Thing. And of course, there's a special place in hell for any website which allows auto-play ads with audio.

            Do you work for the NYT or something? I have yet to see a single news website that succeeds at "tasteful use of multimedia." NYT might be better than most because they're historically a print media, but I don't go to a freaking news website to watch a video! I go there to read the news! If I wanted to watch a video and listen to some multimedia, I'd probably go to YouTube or turn on my TV. In the rare instances where the article makes me want to watch some footage, I'd like to be able to choose to do so i

          • While I tend to agree, I think there are some times when it's appropriate to have auto-playing content (maybe only restricted to silent content). For example, multimedia-rich pages such as this [nytimes.com] benefit from a tasteful (in my opinion) use of multimedia.

            That's a terrible multimedia rich page. It looks like it's supposed to be a written article but it takes over THE ENTIRE WINDOW to show a stupid video of a boat. Scroll down and it jars into a written article. Keep scrolling and it jars into another fucking full page video. Particularly annoying if you're scrolling at high speed. This is actually only of the worst fucking uses of autoplay video I've seen.

            I also don't know what the deal is with blogs now deciding that all their images must be animated GIFs i

            • I guess there are several issues here:

              1. As technology evolves, should the web evolve in its capability as well? If we allow it to evolve, ok -- that's what we're seeing here. If not, where should it stop? Should we allow images to load without clicking on them, etc.? Should we allow the blink tag? Or should we just stick to text+hyperlinks?
              2. Should web browsers yield more control to the end user? YES, is my answer -- we *should* be able to turn off or turn on autoplay, we should be able to disable sc
        • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @09:27PM (#53870121)

          Click-to-play is not enough. We need click-to-download-and-play, because there's a new fad about making 150MB animated GIFs that should be in video format instead. And if we're not planning on watching the GIFs or the videos, it's wasted bandwidth for everyone involved.

          • Yes, it is CLICK-TO-DOWNLOAD-AND-PLAY that I actually want. A video shouldn't be downloaded until the user has clicked such a button. Instead, the website should code in a image such as frame one of the video with a watermark showing something like "click to view video" that is displayed in the browser instead to allow the site's layout and structure to be maintained.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The move to HTML5 video and audio has been especially annoying for me, because Firefox seems to not support this simple functionality.

          Mozilla managed to make it worse recently, by automatically starting the download of videos, even when they are not yet playing, because the web page said in the video tag that the video should be prefetched (preload="auto").

          I mean, WTF!? Why should the web site decide that I will download GBs of data upon loading their page.
          And unlike a playing video, you won't notice unless you have some kind of network activity monitor running.

        • The move to HTML5 video and audio has been especially annoying for me, because Firefox seems to not support this simple functionality. It is way overdue. My preference is for the elements to not be downloaded until I click play.

          Can't help you with click-to-download, but click-to-play, (for some-but-not-all videos), can be turned on by going into 'about:config' and setting 'media.autoplay.enabled' to 'false' . And if you're running Pale Moon, (which you might want to consider if you're sick of Mozilla's idea of UI "innovations" and you also want to kill ALL video autoplay), then you can also set 'media.autoplay.allowscripted' to 'false'. That latter setting doesn't exist in FF as far as I can tell, but it is present in Pale Moon. I

      • I wish the browsers would. Thus far HTML 5 autoplay is one of the great evils of the modern Internet. I browse with volume muted these days precisely for that reason.

        • Facebook playing videos with audio on by default -
          reaction 1: oh, this is terrible!
          reaction 2: wait, I only unmute my computer for specific media consumption. This probably won't be a big deal.
          reaction 3: wait, wait. I'll probably listening to music, and then think "oh, I'll surf FB while checking out this album" and then give myself a heart attack when my mom or someone's dog or something starts coming out of my speakers.

        • When I'm reading news, I tend to open sites in multiple tabs and it's really annoying when two or more of them start playing sounds when I haven't even got to them yet. By the time I've read the content of other sites and get to the racket-makers, they've already finished their annoying videos (or just replaying them over and over!).

          At least Firefox has a sound icon on each tab so I can mute the ones I don't want to listen to.
          • get to the racket-makers, they've already finished their annoying videos (or just replaying them over and over!).

            Some move on and start autoplaying videos unrelated to the original article.

      • No, it will lead to browser extensions being created to disable this crap
      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        This will just lead to browsers muting sound by default

        Most employers are blocking Facebook. This is more a problem with phones which are always switched to full volume. I turned off autoplay ages ago. I just need to figure out how to completely get rid of the Instashit ads.

      • by DdJ ( 10790 )

        This will just lead to browsers muting sound by default

        I actually wrote a browser extension that prevents my browser from loading any media of any kind at all. Coupled with turning off all plugin support, it's been an absolute delight. Never any sound, rarely any motion.

    • just another reason to make sure "facebook.com" resolves to 127.0.0.1

  • by subk ( 551165 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @07:46PM (#53869529)
    Now they're going to *reward* users for shooting fucked up vertical video? How retarded can Facebook get?
    • Re:Vertical Video (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:00PM (#53869617)
      Facebook is running out of new users at their current intelligence level. In order to expand (which apparently is what modern business requires, it's not enough to simply remain the same) they have to figure out how to acquire more and more customers, which means lowering the bar further and further.

      I still have to wonder how sound their business model is. Have they actually turned a profit yet?
      • by AdamThor ( 995520 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:41PM (#53869853)

        "I still have to wonder how sound their business model is."

        Business model now have sound by default!

      • I still have to wonder how sound their business model is. Have they actually turned a profit yet?

        Googled that for you. As of November 2nd 2016: "The social media giant said Wednesday that third-quarter revenue soared 56% to $7 billion and its quarterly profit nearly tripled to $2.38 billion"

        Sounds like a pretty profitable business model to me.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I saw that number in the news and it makes me wonder -- is all that money coming from display advertising or is some/most of it coming from data sold to advertisers?

          I get next to zero "sponsored posts" in my newsfeed and as of yet, U-Block + Privacy Badger hasn't been a problem on Facebook and I see zero display ads, too.

          So where is all that money coming from?

  • Will Facebook still honor that setting (for current users, that is)? If not, they've successfully found a way to prevent people from accessing FB when they should be working. Bravo!
  • by Minupla ( 62455 ) <minupla@g m a i l . c om> on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @07:57PM (#53869589) Homepage Journal

    Time to rename Facebook RickRollBook!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This article seems carefully worded to engender a sense of outrage in readers, presumably because the author is a greedy bastard who is only out for page views. The fact is, any Facebook user who is too stupid to go find the settings so they can turn off autoplay (or turn off audio on autoplay) deserves what they get. I turned off autoplay a long time ago, and have never regretted it. A very slight change to the wording of the article would have made it a perfectly reasonable factual article, but instead we

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That is the answer.

  • Could not care less if I were dead. It is yet another reason I do not even have a facebook account and never will.
  • Web don'ts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @08:36PM (#53869811)

    Autoplay video has been on every year's "Top 10 Web Don'ts" list since at least 1998. It's the most consistently hated practice since the web began.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > It's the most consistently hated practice since the web began.

      Damn kids that don't remember the blink tag

      • And the marquee element. Bob Whipple has a nice little essay on those two in From A to <A>.

        Animated GIFs are definitely up there too.

        But to be fair, when the web began, there was no audio, video, blink, or marquee. I'm trying to remember what we complained about the most back in the day. The fact that it was slower than gopher and largely duplicated WAIS, maybe. The lack of persistent connections and consequent always-in-slow-start behavior. Starting Lynx and discovering your $TERM is wrong, or the sy

    • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

      Autoplay video has been on every year's "Top 10 Web Don'ts" list since at least 1998

      Topped in the same list only by Autoplay of loud sounds before you can even spot the video on the page.

      For some reason there is no obvious browser mechanism to disable sound by default. It's very rare that I want a webpage to be able to speak. So explicit permission would be nice.

    • Re:Web don'ts (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @11:44PM (#53870915)

      Autoplay video has been on every year's "Top 10 Web Don'ts" list since at least 1998.

      Why would Facebook care what users think of the practice? They aren't Facebook's customers.

      • Repeating this meme is just showing shortsighted stupidity. Just because you think users are a product (a lack of understanding of b2b relationships) doesn't mean that Facebook can not care about them. A farmer who sells milk also doesn't consider the cow a product, that doesn't mean he would be happy about going out and simply shooting a few of them.

        If you piss of your user base they will leave, at which point you have nothing further to sell on the other side of your business.

        Please apply a bit of critica

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          If you piss of your user base they will leave, at which point you have nothing further to sell on the other side of your business.

          The thing about corporate-controlled social networks -- they only let you talk to other people on that network. The userbase will not leave until they start to leave en masse, because if they leave they will be cut off from all their "friends" and family also on the network. It's not like email where you can change your provider and write to all the same people from a new address.

          People will not have this mass-exodus until something new comes along that everyone else is moving to because its the "hip new th

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2017 @09:01PM (#53869971)

    the internet for many years has tolerated a lot of bullshit form web sites, but one remains universally unacceptable, making noise suddenly and without warning.

    web pages need to be quiet unless i specifically request they make noise

  • I am so glad I don't have a Facebook account...

  • So as you can see on the map, we're currently passing the MySpace landmark and beginning our death spiral.
  • I needed a good push to stay away from Facebook. Avoiding instant noise is definitely that push.

  • Autoplaying videos? As if I needed another reason never to use Facebook.

  • Brian: Mark, why don't you make all user submitted video\audio autoplay?
    Mark: Great idea Brian. I could then sell 10 second slots to advertisers and precede the user submitted videos.

    Later that evening at a different meeting.
    Brian: Gentlemen, I want the cap lowered to 768GB's effective immediately in all our markets.
  • I think FB Purity http://www.fbpurity.com/ [fbpurity.com] Ironically I'm @ work and can't get to faceplant to verify
  • I'd also like them to update their UI to include more HTML tables, note areas they are working on with "Under Construction" animated GIFs and include a hit counter, preferably in a cartoon font, so everyone knows how popular my page is.

  • Did anyone notice that CNN.COM goes out of its way to post video where a perfectly acceptable block of text would convey the same info? I guess mouth breathers are everywhere.

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