Ever found yourself staring blankly at a video introduction screen, baffled at why it isn’t already playing? Or perhaps you understand the complex mechanics of why it isn’t playing, but can’t comprehend why the maniac that designed this bewildering tool is expecting you to drag your cursor across thousands of mocking pixels, only then to have to exert precisely the correct amount of downward pressure with your index finger; too little and the video will remain unmoved, quietly deriding your efforts. Too much and the mouse will shatter into a million pieces.
No, me neither. But apparently someone out there is going through this daily torture, so Facebook have leapt to their rescue with plans for an autoplay feature that will have videos springing into life the moment they appear on screen. Phew.
To avoid, heaven forbid, any suggestion that this is being introduced exclusively for advertising purposes, the feature will only apply to the videos of friends and the pages of musicians…. for now.
“At first, this feature will be limited to videos posted by individuals, musicians, and bands. We’re doing this to make sure we create the best possible experience. Over time, we’ll continue to explore how to bring this to marketers in the future.”
Something tells me that the future may be just around the corner.
Marketers may be temporarily giddy at the prospect of this unprecedented level of audience engagement, but will that audience even exist if Facebook continue their aggressive monetisation? There’s a balance to be struck, and to some this may feel like one clumsy step too far.