Facebook’s Autoplay feature is set to cause more controversy, as the Social media giant has announced that the Audio files for videos will also play automatically on top of the Autoplay video files. In a statement, Facebook said that users have come to expect audio to play, and claim that testers liked the feature.

Facebook following Snapchat?

Industry analysts have said that the fact that Snapchat are already doing it is arguably the biggest drive behind the proposed changes. And, there’s little doubt that Facebook is making the changes to try and further increase the revenue it generates from video ads that are displayed on their site.

Facebook Autoplay Audio embarrassment

Critics, however, point out that it could lead to unnecessary awkwardness. Facebook users do not have full control over what is displayed on their timeline, no matter how hard they try blocking and muting posts. Sneakily scrolling through your timeline while at work, at school, or even on the bus could lead to audio being played and overheard by those around you.

The changes do not effect device audio controls. This means that if your phone volume has been muted, then Facebook Autoplay will not be able to override this setting. What’s more, although the Facebook Autoplay sound feature will be enabled by default, users can access their Facebook settings and disable this feature whenever they wish, and prevent any audio.

Facebook video advertising

It seems likely that Facebook is attempting to further improve the quality of its video advertising options. Video ads have proven to be one of the most successful monetization streams for the network which has nearly 2 billion users, equivalent to a quarter of the world’s population. There is no doubting the popularity of the site, or the popularity of social media news in general.

Earnings per user

Analysts and monetization experts have long argued that the company should be making more money with this kind of user base, but they continue to struggle to eek money from their users. Video ads have helped redress this balance, and because audio plays such an important part in persuading viewers to purchase, this step is likely to appeal to advertisers.

Recent results have been encouraging, despite the furore surrounding Facebook fake news. They have seen a 50% increase in revenue per user in 2015, which was well above average. They also announced a year ago that they receive 8 billion 3 second video views. Although no further data has been released for this metric, Zuckerberg’s recent earnings announcements suggest that it has grown steadily.