Starting today, Facebook will begin testing autoplay videos -- including ads -- with sound in its iOS and Android apps. Facebook told Mashable the test will be limited to Australian users and rolled out in two different ways to gauge how users react. In both versions of the test, sound will only play if the iPhone's volume is turned up, and sound can also be turned to "always off" in Facebook settings.
In one version of the test, sound plays immediately as the video begins, if you have sound enabled on your device. Another group is able to turn sound on during the test session using an icon that will sit to the bottom right of videos.
Both groups see a pop-up message informing them about how to use the controls, and sound will only play if the smartphone's volume is up. If you don't want to annoy your workmates, sound can also be turned to "always off" in Facebook settings.
The test is interesting given that Facebook's own research concluded that mobile users prefer having the choice to opt in to sound, with 80% of people reacting negatively towards both the platform and advertiser if sound is unexpectedly played. But, given that Facebook is an advertising-driven company with aspirations of pushing deeper into video content, autoplay sound may eventually be a necessary evil.