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WARNING: Facebook is playing about with autoplaying audio on news feeds

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David Cornish
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Facebook loves video. It's nuts for it.

As feeds become increasingly crowded with updates on your mate's Croatia holiday/wedding/baby/political rants, Facebook is tweaking its many algorithms that control just what you see, giving renewed preference for the wonders of video.

While Facebook introduced autoplaying videos a while back (which can be automatically turned off), word comes from Mashable that the social network is testing autoplaying videos with audio.

The test has only been extended to users in Australia for now, with videos consisting of both user posts and adverts. One version of this test sees video audio kick in the moment you scroll past the video, while others see an audio button appear on video posts. Both can be adjusted to be turned "always off", but you need to opt out rather than opt in to the audio autoplay experience.

"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's Australian office. "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."

Facebook is eager to get even more of its users to interact with video, introducing autocaptioning tools for video creators and advertisers longing for users to stick around long enough to watch their content. If the Australian test group responds positively to the experiment (apparently 50 per cent of them are keeping the audio option "on" rather than killing it off), then you might find further tests going global in the near future.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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