Facebook debuts vertical video format and confirms forthcoming TV apps


Facebook wants be in your TV screen in 2017.

On Tuesday, the network launched
new ways to watch videos
on your iOS and Android device.
You can now watch vertical videos in full-screen, autoplay
videos with sound, and watch picture-in-picture while scrolling
down your News Feed. In addition, Facebook confirmed the
forthcoming launch of TV apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and
Samsung Smart TV.

Previously, all videos on Facebook’s News Feed autoplayed on
silent, and you had to tap on the picture to hear sound. Now,
Facebook is giving you the option to autoplay videos with sound
that fades in and out as you scroll through the video on your

As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to
expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on.

“As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect
sound when the volume on their device is turned on,” Facebook
wrote on
its company blog

If your phone is on silent, the videos will autoplay silently,
however, and you can disable sound completely by unchecking the
“Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” option in your Settings.

When watching vertical videos on your News Feed, you can now
tap on it to watch full-screen. Facebook started testing this
feature last year, and the company’s begun rolling it out more
broadly after receiving positive response.

facebook picture in pictureFacebook

Facebook has also taken a page from YouTube and Vimeo by
incorporating a “picture-in-picture” video-watching experience.
If you’re playing a video and continue to scroll down your News
Feed, the video screen will minimize and be fixed permanently
on the lower-right corner of the display. This way you can
continue watching while browsing other posts on your News Feed.

You can even drag the minimized player to any corner, and
Android users will get to finish the video even if they exit
out of the Facebook app and go open another app.

Lastly, Facebook
confirmed that it has developed a video app
for Apple TV,
Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to
come, according to the blog post. This Facebook video app
for TVs will let you watch videos shared by your friends, as
well as watch live videos, saved videos, and videos you’ve
uploaded on the big screen. A release date has not been

“A lot of people when they’re watching video on News Feed
during the day will save it for later because they don’t have
time to watch that 3-minute video,” Dan Rose, Facebook’s VP of
Partnerships, said during the
Code Media conference
. “Now it’s easy to go on your TV if
you want to do that at night.”

Why this matters: Facebook’s new video
features on mobile and the launch of TV apps are all part
of Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to make Facebook a “video-first”
company. Recently, Facebook has been pushing its live video
feature, as well as incorporating video-sharing into both
the Facebook
mobile apps
 and Instagram.

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