Facebook Introduces Mobile Autoplay

According to the article, http://www.insidefacebook.com/2013/09/12/facebook-to-test-autoplay-videos-in-mobile-news-feed/#more-84720, Facebook announced last Thursday the launch and test of Mobile Autoplay.  Similar to our discussion in class, Facebook looks to enhance its mobile platform starting with member’s news feeds.  The Autoplay function allows for posted video content by a linked celebrity or member’s friends to automatically play on their mobile device after scrolling past the posted content on their news feed.

Two major questions come to mind.  What type of response will autoplay receive and is this the first step to Facebook inching towards mobile video advertising.  Regardless of the user’s response, its hard to ignore the potential revenue stream Facebook can derive from mobile video.  Currently, Facebook denies using autoplay as a possible transition to mobile video advertising, stating this is only for accepted content by a user’s friends database and in no way exist for other reasons.  Mark Zuckerberg prides himself on creating a social online experience that’s not only highly interactive, but enjoyable for the user.  However, could the pressure from shareholders, Wall Street, and the future of his company influence otherwise?

~ Jeremy Aiss

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3 thoughts on “Facebook Introduces Mobile Autoplay

  1. As a Facebook user, I think this annoys me a bit. I feel like Facebook is always determining what content I can or cannot see and how that happens. While I enjoy the idea of being able to watch a part of a video to decide if I want to watch it completely (and with sound), I think this may cross some boundaries. What if there are videos in my news feed that are unpleasant and that I know for sure I don’t want to watch? It will make me see a part of it anyway, against my will. I can see this going to a dark side very easily, potentially destroying a user’s experience on Facebook.

    Regarding the possibility of the auto play for advertising opportunities, I am sure it will happen in the near future if they decide to carry on with this functionality. Concerning the companies, I think it will be a good opportunity to get the viewers attention, if it is a specifically targeted effort. But again, if it is not meaningful content I can see it becoming just more advertising clutter that will be ignored. I also believe consumers might think their privacy is being invaded, creating therefore a negative perception regarding the company.

    Overall, I think it is a nice functionality, but if Facebook forces people to accept it, I don’t think the response will be positive.

  2. I do have a Facebook account but I guess I can’t be counted as a Facebook user simply because my account is locked by the system.

    However, I felt I won’t be very happy if the similar program is introduced to one of my current social network website because I personally have a strong demand of simplicity and if Facebook is playing some randomly selected video on my mobile device, I might even choose to delete this App and log to my account through the regular web browser.

  3. Anelise, you make some great points. Even without a sound component, I understand how unpleasant videos popping up on your mobile device, especially in a public setting, could be an issue. I’m sure facebook will work out any kinks after their initial trial. Still hold the opinion that this is just a ploy to slowly initiate mobile video advertising. The facebook that we all enjoyed as college students is slowly disappearing.

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