back to article Straight to video: Facebook to add 'view counts' to autoplay newsfeed vids

Facebook has apparently watched video views explode since the free content ad network decided to set them to play automatically on its News Feed. The Mark Zuckerberg-run company said on Sunday that an average of more than 1 billion vids had been watched every day since June this year. However, there's a potential side-effect …

  1. PCS

    Since the videos start playing automagically of course they are going to count as being watched. Common sense. Give us the statistics for the number of videos watched all the way through without the user scrolling up or down the page away from the video and I'll bet it's far far lower.

    Now Mr Z, give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying. I for one don't want it.

    1. AbelSoul

      Now Mr Z, give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying. I for one don't want it.

      Nor I. It seems to be yet another exercise in studying how much you can annoy your user base before they cease to be your user base.

      Along with the recent enforced use of their messenger app on mobile devices, this has resulted in me barely using the site recently.

      1. Omniaural

        "Nor I. It seems to be yet another exercise in studying how much you can annoy your user base before they cease to be your user base."

        I rarely go on there now. My push notifications tell me what's worth seeing, if anything, and mostly it's game alerts. I'm down to about 5 mins - 3 times a week.

        The thing that really put me off was the new timeline where you get jumble of posts that can be at least a couple of days old being shown before more recent ones. I'm sure I could probably change that somewhere, but I can't be bothered any more.

    2. Lionel Baden

      Now Mr Z, give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying. I for one don't want it.

      there is one, a quick google will get you the information you need.

      On the mobile version you can also set it to only playback automatically when using Wi-Fi only.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        And how do you set it to not auto-play even when it is connected to Wi-Fi?

        Makes me glad I deleted my account nearly half a decade ago.

        1. Only me!


          Now I use my little MiFi a lot with my tablet.

          1. it is a WiFi connection on the tablet

          2. It is of course metered, so has limits

          3. Even if I did use FaceBook I would NOT want videos playing.

          4. The option to turn it off should be a basic option for users to select!!!

          Websites that do play video when you first enter them are never entered again.....FaceBook will go the same way for a lot of people.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Next to useless then

        A big chunk of the tablet marked doesn't have a mobile data connection, so there's a fair change the WiFi will be a tether to a phone.

    3. Graham Marsden

      @PCS "give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying"

      It's called FlashBlock :-)

    4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "Now Mr Z, give us a settings to STOP the videos from autoplaying. I for one don't want it."

      That is not a setting that you should trust Mr Z to provide. Your browser authors will have provided such a setting and they can probably be trusted to keep it working each time they update the code.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No wonder ..

    No wonder mobile phone companies are so keen to have FB installed by default - burn those MBs, baby. It's the era of very extensive voicemail intros and prompts all over again.

    Personally, I find auto-play one of the best viewer repellants of websites. To illustrate why, I refer to you to an old hacker prank: the installation of an auto-play audio file containing a very high volume "THIS USER IS WATCHING PR0N". But hey, eventually we grew up..

    Say no to auto-play. And if you cannot say no, don't go there.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: No wonder ..

      How long before the carriers install 'special' versions of the Faceblot app that does not have the ability to :-

      Be removed - (already there on some handsets/carriers))

      Stopped - (again already there on some handsets/carriers)

      and now...

      Have auto-play disabled in any shape or form, wifi or not.

      I'd expec the likes of AT&T and EE to be at the forefront of this move.

      1. I Like Heckling Silver badge

        Re: No wonder ..

        HTC were complete basties for hard coding facebook and twitter into their phones... Then on top of that you had their sense overlay versions... which meant you had two facebook apps that couldn't be uninstalled.

        Thankfully I left facebook several years ago after using google+ in the beta more than 3yrs ago now... It's everything that facebook isn't... a decent social media platform that allows you to make new connections based on shared interests without having to see all the crap... no ads, no intrusion, seamless integration of vids, gifs and images. It's great for content creators and the best part of it is the video hangouts where up to 10 people can sit around and chat in real time with HD quality video.

        and before anyone says it's a ghost town... learn to use it properly and you'll understand why it's so good.

        No... I do not work for google, I just appreciate a social platform that does what it's supposed to without being a blight on the user.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No wonder ..

          no ads, no intrusion

          No ads for the moment, no intrusion that I'm aware of

          FIFY - it's Google, not a charity.

    2. John Tserkezis

      Re: No wonder ..

      "No wonder mobile phone companies are so keen to have FB installed by default - burn those MBs, baby."

      We have some (mobile) networks here in australia, that offer facebook, twitter and other "social" sites as unmetered data on their plans. Presumably to attract the gen Yer's.

      I bet they're looking at their own T&C's desperately trying to get out of this one.

  3. JeffyPoooh

    Settings go further than just "Wifi Only"

    "...Facebook also has an option for smartphone and fondleslab users to set their devices to only enable the auto-play function over a wireless connection."

    Settings go further than that, at least now.

    iPhone: Settings, Facebook, Settings, Video / Auto-Play: 'On', 'Wi-fi only', and 'Off'.

    Android: I'll let someone else address that...

    1. PsychicMonkey

      Re: Settings go further than just "Wifi Only"

      Android also has the off setting, not that it actually seems to matter, it appears to just auto play them anyway.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what the hells the point of autoplay apart from to distort viewing figures? I would probably click on 1 in 20 of the inane drivel my friends post up, or is that the point?

    1. ratfox

      Looks like you answered your own question already…

  5. Kirstian K
    Thumb Down

    in hate mode for facebook recently....

    I always touted Facebook as a mix of : uber users, and the occasional, its a tool users. (myself being in the latter), and as a tool its very useful:

    being able to message my friends easily (oh wait that's now a separate app that I refuse to install)

    being able to simply see what my friends / family are upto (so whats all that crap on my newsfeed then)

    and being able to filter what crap I do/don't see (oh so there is auto play and I have no control now its played whether I like it or not)

    and bills etc etc, you get my point.

    Ole Zuck boy is a sell out, non trustworthy, biatch, who I don't think deserves the data he holds, and he has no appreciation for the trust that has been bestowed on him by the public and I hope he falls flat on his face for the blatent abuse of peoples trust and data.

    I for one am toying with writing facebook_over which cuts the crap and is the simple useful part of facebook, without all the anti trust.

    or maybe just maybe (never going to happen) they split facebook into 3 parts:

    1) messaging (without the horrible port probing etc)

    2) facebook as a tool (contact / profiles only)

    3) newsfeeds all the rest of he crap

    ah utopia your such a pipe dream...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: in hate mode for facebook recently....

      > occasional, its a tool users

      I think most of Facebook's users are tools...

      You don't have to use Facebook Messenger by the way. The chat service is pretty much bog standard XMPP. Pidgin works fine as a client and there are vanilla XMPP / Jabber apps for mobile platforms.

      The only thing you lose is some of the emoticons available in the official client. On the plus side people can't send you the emoticons available in the official client...

  6. heyrick Silver badge


    If I look at a news feed and eight people have set videos, doesn't this mean the end result will be bollocks as everything starts playing at the same time?

  7. Fab De Marco

    I like it

    Helps me to judge if a video is worth watching and it makes me feel like I'm reading The Daily Prophet

  8. Mike Flugennock

    That is all.

  9. kend1

    Mobile data plan exceeded - thanks for auto play turned on.

    Mr Z, When you receive my *fake* bomb in the mail, just open it and press the button labelled "auto play off". Hope your relatives enjoy the irony.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Fake bomb ?

      That is so sad.

      A real one is such a blast !

  10. dotdavid

    Facebook also has an option for smartphone and fondleslab users to set their devices to only enable the auto-play function over a wireless connection

    Do many smartphone and fondleslab users use wired connections then?

  11. Mark 85

    BS Marketing 101

    This reminds of the advertisers:

    1) Your ad will be seen by XXX viewers on this website. Yeah... it'll be ignorned by almost all of them.

    2) Your ad will be seen by XXX subscribers to our newspaper. Even though it's at the bottom of page 40 and Aunt Minnie's parakeet will be the only one who sees it.

    3) Your ad will be seen by XXX viewers of this TV program. Even though 90% of viewers will either be taking a piss or getting a beer.

    I'm assuming Zuck will soon start selling adverts to be inserted in front of the vids???

    1. foxyshadis

      Re: BS Marketing 101

      That has to do with all of the conspiracy theories that Facebook demands money for exposure... they assume everyone who "liked" them is still an active user, didn't unfollow them for spamming feeds, and even cares about anything they post. FB's algorithm is dirt simple: If you stop liking, sharing, and commenting on a page of with a friend, it stops showing you anything from that friend/page, and by and large, people are actually happy to have your uninteresting crap cleaned off their feed.

      Quite a few pages have paid their money only to realize users still don't give a damn, and still aren't seeing their posts, so I basically just unlike pages that persist in spreading that rumor now.

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first


    Facebook? {shrug}

  13. Jamie Jones Silver badge


    Their blog spins it as a feature to make viewing videos easier.

    My questions:

    1) How is pressing 'play' considered difficult? Especially as you apparently need to click it somewhere to get audio, which is less intuitive than before!

    2) If you do want to watch the video, by the time you get to it, you'll probably have to hit 'restart'.

    3) As 'heyrick' mentions above, does this mean multiple videos playing at the same time?

    I'm not one of those hate-facebook-whatever-they-do commentards, but I struggle to see how even their most loyal fanboi could say this is a good idea.

    And amore general rant: As with 'Only me!', I use my tablet with mi-fi, and although the 15GB/month cap is generally adequate, I'm fed up of all the sites/apps that assume cellular == cost, wi-fi == free

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