Facebook (FB) on Tuesday announced a soon-to-launch TV app for users to play its videos on Apple (AAPL) TV, Amazon (AMZN) Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV as it seeks to grab viewers on as many different platforms as possible.
Facebook already is a huge player in video, and the TV app is just one more way for the social media giant to become a “video first” company.
But Facebook also announced a new video change that will perk up users ears, like it or not. The networking giant said itÂ will automatically play sound on autoplay videos in a user’s news feed if the phone isn’t on silent. Sound will also be on for video ads. That could get more people to attention to video and ads, but also annoy viewers. But Facebook said tests showed “positive feedback.”
“After testing sound on in News Feed and hearing positive feedback, we’re slowly bringing it to more people. With this update, sound fades in and out as you scroll through videos in News Feed, bringing those videos to life,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Facebook also made changes to make vertical videos look better on phones and also created a way to minimize videos show they watch a video while scrolling through their feed.
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Meanwhile, Apple late Monday previewed its upcoming show, “Planet of the Apps,” described by some as a cross of “Shark Tank” and “The Voice.” It will debut this spring on the subscription Apple Music service.
That show, and Apple’s push into in-house content and longstanding talks for content deals, have many observers predicting that Apple Music may morph into Apple Media.
Apple recently hired the former head of Amazon Fire TV,Â Timothy Twerdahl, to run Apple TV’s product marketing. Twerdahl previously worked at Roku and Netflix (NFLX). His hire frees upÂ Pete Distad to help work on content deals.
Facebook fell 20 cents to 133.85 on the stock market today, holding close to its 135.49 intraday high set on Feb. 2. Apple rose 1.3% to 135.02, hitting an all-time high.