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Lately, I see a lot this behavior and I hate it with all my strength.

Say I'm watching a video (e.g. on Twitter) but the only thing that interests me is the audio. I keep going with my twitter (or whatever) thing, but when I scroll until the video touches the screen border the audio gets silenced.

Ok, I get it. I put it again, let the scroll where it wants to be, and start working on another tab. Surprise! The audio gets muted again.

I think this is horrible by itself, but to make things YET worse, the damn video keeps playing, so if I want to keep hearing it, I have to search for the position I was in, which is bad enough in an FHD computer screen but is really terrible in a smartphone.

Why is this so prevalent? Is this considered to be good UX? Something I'm missing there?

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What my friends said is right. Actually, social media apps such as Facebook, Youtube, WhatsApp, etc.. made different implementations to deal with this case.

Current Social media 1st approach

Youtube and WhatsApp followed the approach of giving the user the ability to keep watching the video on a small screen while you are scrolling as @Sinandro added above.

Current Social media 2nd approach

In Facebook, since you don't care to keep watching the video, we will Stop/Mute when you start to scroll the need feed.

My assumption

I think from my point of view, it's nice to have the video running in the background in order to hear it if the video content depend mainly on voice, like a song, or a conversation, so the need to see the video is not necessary, so there must be a need to use a sound switcher to change the voice ON/OFF while scrolling the news feed.

Here I used Facebook as an example for my assumption, as the following

Menu > Settings > Sound

enter image description here

when you activate this switcher it shows a small speaker icon on top of the Facebook title area which gives the user the choice to keep the audio ON while you scroll the posts on Facebook, the moment you click the video it will run the video with sound if the icon on top is activated, else it will stay mute check below:

enter image description here

On Browsers such as Safari when you run for example a Youtube video, you can notice a Speaker icon appear beside the title on the page tab, so where ever you go from one tab to another the sound will stay ON unless you click the icon to mute it, check below:

enter image description here

Hope this can add some value to you.

  • Thank you. Very appreciated. I don't use Facebook but I think this is not possible in Twitter webpage. Or maybe I just haven't found the setting. – raven Jul 10 at 15:28
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If you consider the majority here, a lot of people scroll off a video, cause they don't want to watch the rest. So if we implement your strategy in apps, every time you don't want to watch the rest of the video, you have to first pause it manually, then continue scrolling. It would be very bad for UX cause the chance that you don't want to see the rest of a video is much higher than the case you just want to hear the sound of a video.

Long story short, I think the best solution here is to add a feature for users who want to hear only the audio. For example, I think picture-in-picture ability is a good solution here. This way, users can watch the video in picture-in-picture mode, or hear only the audio in the background, while they're doing other things. Telegram has a very nice implementation of this kind of behavior:

enter image description here

  • Yes, you're right, and I understand the typical use case. The problem, I think, is not having an alternative. Anyway, I think pausing the video instead of muting would be clearly better. – raven Jul 7 at 11:10
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When I scroll a video out of view it's usually because I'm no longer interested in it. But I catch your meaning — that's not always the case.

YouTube has launched a floating "mini player" which docks to the viewport when you scroll the player out of view. It makes sense on a site where video is the main component, but probably less so in other settings. That said, it's a feature I've been enjoying for a couple years now thanks to Chrome extensions like Enhancer for YouTube and Floating for YouTube. YouTube clearly saw the value of this type of interaction and adopted it. Perhaps it's worth exploring something similar.

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