Don’t be startled by the cacophony suddenly emanating from your Twitter feed: The company started testing video autoplay yesterday, according to Advertising Age. Given how successful autoplay has been for Facebook, it’s no surprise that Twitter’s trying it on too.
Testers are split into two groups, both of which see muted videos by default, with one seeing the full video automatically while the other sees a six-second preview looped over and over again until a user clicks on the video. (Vine’s six-second videos won’t be autoplayed.) Only user-posted videos, advertisements, and content from Twitter’s Amplify program partners (like ESPN and the NFL, who post videos with pre-roll advertisements) will be autoplayed in the test.
Facebook’s seen success with video content since it launched autoplay in news feeds in 2014, which helps explain the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’s success on Facebook–especially since Facebook then tweaked news feeds to show more videos up top if users watched more videos, according to a Facebook blog post. While YouTube still reigns as king of total views, Facebook’s autoplay has nabbed it the title of sharing champion, as evidenced by last winter’s uber-adorable pengwing ad, 40% of whose views were claimed by Facebook, says Business Insider.
Since June 2014, Facebook has clocked one billion video views per day, although in an earnings report call back in January, Facebook executives claimed that daily views had risen to 3 billion. It’s no surprise that Twitter would want a piece of this action, and this test shows Twitter following Facebook’s successful footsteps very closely.