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Multiple times when scrolling through my news feed or looking at new things on instagram, I come across a video from friends, when I scroll past this it immediately starts to play.

Normally I really don't care about the video in question and it tends to just be a nuisance. Why have Facebook and the like implemented this? Is it beneficial in any way?

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    My guess is so that you watch it. – DA01 Apr 20 '14 at 22:15
  • The real issue I have is not with video, but the sound that comes with it. I usually have like 20 tab browsers open, and having to check which one has decided to mix with the music I was listening may be distracting. – SJuan76 May 20 '14 at 19:15
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Is it really forcing user to play? You don't have to press any button to play (or even to stop it). If you're not interested in content, you keep scrolling.

In feed there is a lot of stimuli. Less focused (or tired, bored, etc.) user might want just to scroll it down effortlessly and be happy that he "read" it.

Motion is one of the greatest attention attractor and this is enough reason for me to implement autoplay.

We all try to get the user's attention :)

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i believe it was instantiated for advertising purposes. at least in facebook's case. for instagram, i believe that was just their desired ui nature. here's an article about the autoplay for ads on facebook: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/facebook-reveals-premium-autoplay-video-ads-156279

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