Facebook videos have played automatically (but silently until clicked) in people’s news feeds for some time. Now Twitter is following suit. “Now native videos, Vines and GIFs will begin to play back automatically. So you can keep up with the action without missing a Tweet and get a better sense of what’s been shared instantly,” explained Twitter product director Baljeet Singh.
Although this is as much about pleasing brands and advertisers as it is users, who haven’t exactly been complaining in numbers about having to tap on videos to watch them. As with Facebook, videos will be silent in Twitter’s timeline until tapped – good news for people checking their tweets next to a sleeping partner in bed or in a boring business meeting – although there is one difference: users can opt out. “You can choose to revert to the previous click-to-play experience all the time or simply have videos autoplay only when you’re connected to wifi,” wrote Singh. Twitter’s iOS app is first to get the auto-playing feature: watch video play-counts soar, just like they did on Facebook.