By Dana Sittler, Product Manager, and Alex Li, Engineering Manager
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.
Bringing Sound to Videos in News Feed
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.
If your phone is set to silent, videos will not play with sound. If you never want videos to play with sound, you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start With Sound” in Settings. We’ll also be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.
We’ve also made changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices. Last year we began testing a larger preview of vertical videos in News Feed on mobile. People responded positively, so that larger format is now available to everyone watching videos on iOS and Android.
Watch and Scroll
We know that sometimes you want to watch a video and also want to keep scrolling through your News Feed. It’s now possible to minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. You can drag the video to any corner of the screen, and if you’re using an Android device, you can keep the video playing even when you exit the Facebook app to do something else on your phone.
Facebook Video App for TV
Finally, we’ve heard that people want more options for how and where they watch Facebook videos. Today we’re announcing a new Facebook video app for TV, which will roll out soon to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to come.
Our video app for TV is a new way to enjoy Facebook videos on a bigger screen. Last year we rolled out the ability for you to stream videos from Facebook to your TV, and today’s announcement expands this capability. With the app, you can watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests. You can also catch up on videos you’ve saved to watch later, as well as revisit videos you’ve watched, shared or uploaded. We look forward to seeing how people use the app to enjoy Facebook videos in a new way.