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Facebook videos now set to autoplay with sound

Facebook is set to roll out an update to all its users that will autoplay the sound of a video on News Feed, without users having to tap on it. In a blog post on Wednesday, Facebook said that as people had begun watching more video on phones, they expected sound when the volume on their devices was turned on.

“After testing sound on 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,” Facebook said. However, if the phone is on silent mode, videos will not play with sound. Users can also disable the feature of autoplay in Settings.

Previously on Facebook, you could either scroll through your News Feed or watch a video. But in its latest update, users can now scroll through News Feed and watch a video by minimizing that to a picture-in-picture view that would keep the video playing in any corner of the screen.

“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,” the social media giant said.

In its new update, vertical Facebook videos will look better with a larger preview in News Feed on mobile devices. The update is available to all watching videos on iOS and Android. Facebook will also be rolling out a video app to stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV.

“Last year we rolled out the ability for you to stream videos from Facebook to your TV, and this 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,” Facebook said.

Users can also catch up on videos they have saved to watch later, as well as revisit videos they have already watched, shared or uploaded.

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Snapchat’s next Lenses could identify and add to landscapes as well as faces

Snap, Inc. is working on an updated version of its in-app Snapchat lenses that would be able to recognize landscapes as well as faces, according to The information, and intelligently overlay augmented reality animations and objects overtop of scenes captured through your camera. This is different from its existing smart Lenses, which can add features like snowfall to scenes, because it can actually create virtual objects that appear to interact and intersect with the real world.

The report says that these features are in advanced testing with the internal version of Snapchat, but they aren’t in the pipeline for a near-term release. If and when they do launch, however, they should fit well into Snap’s existing business model, since it’ll provide another range of options for potential advertisers.

The distinction between filters that apply dynamically to users and those that apply dynamically to environments and scenes might seem minor in terms of advertiser appeal, but in fact, they’ve very different things that could open up a lot of potential opportunity not available right now to brands who don’t necessarily have an easy way to advertise what they’re doing on a human’s face.

Snap is heading into its IPO, and could use some more arrows in its advertising quiver, especially with reports that Instagram and Facebook’s efforts to shamelessly copyall of Snapchat's features and functionality are having an impact on the app's usage.

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