Facebook Testing Auto-Play Videos in Desktop News Feed

Facebook tests auto-play Instagram videos in desktop News Feed

We’ve known that Facebook was planning to test auto-play videos in the mobile News Feed. An auto-play video feature in the desktop News Feed, on the other hand, hasn’t been talked about often. That is, until Facebook auto-played videos in my desktop News Feed last night.

As I scrolled through my News Feed yesterday I noticed Facebook auto-played three videos by my friends. The videos played in silence and once they played through they paused on their initial frame, covered by a play button (you can see this in my screenshot below). Clicking the play button played the video normally, with sound.

Facebook tests auto-play videos in desktop News Feed

Interestingly, each video that was auto-played was around six seconds in length, like a Vine. Longer videos, especially those posted by Pages, were not auto-played. Initially I wondered if every auto-played video came from Instagram, but only one of the three videos that auto-played in my News Feed last night came from the photo sharing service, as you can see below. The other two videos appeared to be uploaded directly to Facebook.

Facebook tests auto-play Instagram videos in desktop News Feed

At this time it’s unknown if Facebook plans to test the feature more broadly, or if it plans to gradually insert auto-play video into all users’ News Feeds. Judging by what I saw in my News Feed last night, however, it seems that videos just a few seconds in length might work well for auto-play on Facebook – they were extremely eye-catching.

The auto-play feature would undoubtedly be used to feed video advertisements to desktop users, so be on the lookout for auto-play videos in your own Feed! Unfortunately, your News Feed might soon be flooded by auto-play video advertisements, which would be fairly annoying.

Have you seen auto-play videos in your desktop News Feed yet?

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.