Facebook will begin testing a new mobile feature Thursday that plays videos automatically as users scroll through their News Feeds. The videos will begin playing as they come into view on the screen, and users can preview them within the News Feed without clicking on or opening them.
Each video will play silently and can be viewed with sound upon clicking.
The new capability will only be rolled out a small group of random users, and videos will only play automatically if they are uploaded directly to Facebook — not embedded from other sites like YouTube. Still, Facebook hopes the added functionality will let users get more out of the video content on their feed, particularly since Facebook lets users preview the video without interrupting the scroll.
This new autoplay feature only applies to videos uploaded by individuals, bands and musicians. In other words, brand pages won't be able to use autoplay for promotional videos, and Facebook doesn't offer video advertisements at this time.
No details were released regarding a timeline for rolling out the feature to all users, or whether it will be available for Facebook's desktop platform.