Twitter experiments with dreaded auto-playing video


Twitter is apparently trying out experiments with video that auto-plays when you scroll to it on a page – similar to what Facebook recently enabled. Sigh.


The tests were spotted by Recode, and could conceivably be a part of the company’s attempt to have something resembling “revenue”.

The experiment was spotted on a video of the forthcoming film A Million Ways To Die In The West – when the film’s hashtag is used by some test users, it is suggested that the user attach a sponsored video to their post (in this case, the film’s trailer). And then when this video is viewed by followers, it auto-plays.

Things could be about to get irritating if this rolls out to all videos.

The depressing thing is that it actually makes commercial sense to enable auto-play – as that means that not only is the user guaranteed to see at least a bit of the video (which might catch their attention and make them want to see the film), but it counts as another play of the video, which will boost up Twitter’s stats – meaning they can go back to advertisers with inflated numbers of how many views each video gets.

Let’s hope we don’t see this feature rolled out soon.

James O’Malley
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