Thursday, February 16, 2017

I can hear you...and that's a bad thing for Facebook video (plus, how to change your mobile settings to default sound off)

Yes, you're experiencing deja vu all over again...sort of.

When reading the title of this post, you may have been reminded of my recent post with the title "I can't hear you...and that's a good thing for Facebook Video." In that post, I talked about how wonderful it was that Facebook videos did not automatically play with sound.

...consider this bit of wisdom from AdAge:

"Facebook users are voting with their ears; more than 85% of videos are now played without turning the sound on."

Why? Because, as AdAge notes, people viewing video on mobile devices find sound to be intrusive.

I wrote that post on Monday, February 13. Today I learned (H/T Marlar House's "Daily Dose of Weird News") that Facebook made an announcement the very next day - Tuesday, February 14.

People are watching and sharing more video on Facebook than ever, and we’re focused on continuously improving the video experience. Today, we’re excited to share several updates that make watching video on Facebook richer, more engaging and more flexible.

Because whenever Facebook makes a change, they make it for our benefit - right?

Videos in News Feed have previously played silently — you tap on a video to hear sound. As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people. With this update, sound fades in and out as you scroll through videos in News Feed, bringing those videos to life.

Oh joy.

So, using one of my examples from my Monday post, let's say that I'm sitting in an airport, scrolling through my Facebook. The poor person next to me could hear something like this as I scroll through my feed and sound fades in and out.

Now it's time for sports! The Onalaska boys' basketball team played in the semi-finals tonight...


...because your friends like K-Y, here's a video about our products!

At that point, the person sitting next to me in the airport might be disgusted. Or, if that person happens to be a western Wisconsin liberal, he or she may be overly attached to me.

If you don't want this to happen to you, Alex Fitzpatrick of TIME has provided step-by-step instructions to turn off sound auto-play on your mobile device.

First, click the three-line icon in the bottom-right hand corner of the Facebook app.

Then, tap "Settings." Next, hit "Account Settings." Then tap "Sounds."

There, you should see an option to turn off "Videos in News Feed Start With Sound." Note that the change is rolling out gradually, so you might not see the appropriate setting just yet.

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