Facebook is testing a change to its main mobile apps that would have videos automatically start with the sound turned on, according to Mashable. The test, which appears to be active in Australia and may be ongoing in other countries, has Facebook video playing with sound so long as users have the volume on their smartphone turned on. In a similar test, some users are able to activate and deactivate the sound by tapping a small button in the corner of the video, similar to Twitter and Vine’s handling of videos with sound.
As it stands today, Facebook videos will autoplay in the News Feed, but require users to tap once into the video and toggle the sound on and off. "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 confirmed to 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."
You can turn off automatic sound in the Facebook settings panel
Facebook’s investments in video have fundamentally altered the social network over the last year, as the popularity of both live-streamed video and prerecorded clips have fast become the site’s most viral and consumable type of media. However, Facebook has tread carefully with how it serves this video to users.
One such consideration is muting these clips from the get-go, so as not to annoy users who either aren’t wearing headphones or are browsing Facebook while listening to music. After all, autoplay video ads with sound turned on are considered one of the more egregious advertising offenses on the internet. Automatically doing so for Facebook video would represent a bolder shift in the company’s strategy.
If Facebook finds that more people watch more video with the sound on from the start, it could become the default setting option in the future.