Facebook, it seems, is testing auto-playing in-stream videos on mobile, reports AllThingsD. The auto-playing feature for those in the test group will only display on mobile devices while scrolling through the News Feed.
The way it works is that videos will begin to play without audio as users move through their News Feed. Users are then able to tap into the video to watch the video in full screen and with audio. Currently only videos from other Facebook users will display not brands or advertisers, although that is likely to come soon. Also, it only works with videos uploaded to Facebook directly or via Instagram and this mobile-only test stage also seems to be limited to Android and iPhone users.
Facebook has been talking about in-stream videos and its ad capabilities for a while now. According to a report from AdAge last year, the company was looking to roll the feature out for “widespread campaigns” and was looking to cap the videos at 15 seconds — interestingly, the length of an Instagram video.
Currently video ads are only available to people who have liked a brand and are only viewable on that brand’s page.
For the social network it seems to be a case of testing the waters before offering the service to advertisers, although whether Facebook users will be onboard with the idea of ad automatically playing clips while they try to go through their feeds remains to be seen.
Below is a video (hattip: TNW) that shows how the feature works.