Gadgets

Twitter Is About To Be A Lot More Like Facebook (And It’ll Probably Drain All Your Data…)

Hold on to your data allowances - Twitter is about to go full Facebook on your feed.

New changes set to be rolled out across all versions of the 140-character social media site will see video and Vine posts automatically start playing as soon as a user scrolls past them. Echoing Facebook's autoplaying video system, if Twitter user taps on the video will expand it, adding more information, while turning landscape will see it take over your screen.

"It used to be that watching a video on Twitter required several taps," explains the site's blog. "So when something was unfolding in real time, be it an NBA finals game, your favourite TV show or breaking news, that extra effort meant you could miss something that you care about."

Which is only half the story. Upon reaching the foot of the explanatory blog post, the main aim for the new autoplay feature becomes clear: "If you’re an advertiser looking for more information, check out our advertiser blog."

Twitter has been struggling to convince advertisers to spend money on its social media feed; by allowing advertiser's rich media adverts to automatically play in a user's feed, the hope will surely be that it will improve user interaction with paid-for Tweets. It's certainly going to make it look like many more of us are watching promotional videos if they're set to play automatically.

Users will be given the option to turn off the autoplay feature, either reverting to previous click-to-play settings or only playing videos when your device is connected to Wi-Fi. It might piss some Tweeters off that the settings will automatically switch to autoplay once the new service rolls out, rather than being given the option to opt out and save data/your eye balls.

Autoplay is set to arrive on Twitter's iOS and computer versions from now, with an Android version arriving soon.