Animated GIFs and videos now auto play as seen on timelines on Twitter, whether or not they are viewed on the web or via Twitter's mobile app for the iOS platform. This means that any GIF, video, or Vine that has been uploaded natively to Twitter will now play automatically as users scroll through timelines (similar to how Facebook handles videos in its pages). As for Android users, the social media giant is currently working on a version that works on the Android platform, and it will be out soon.
The company had previously tested this feature with a select group of Twitter users only. But now, it is already live for all users to see. As far as functionality goes, it does offer some convenience for those who like to browse through tweets from Twitter accounts users follow, especially those posts that come with GIFs, videos, or Vines. Before, users had to actively click or tap on an image or link in order to get it to play. This time around, viewing is made faster and ultimately easier.
Having autoplaying GIFs and videos also can boost Twitter's value to advertisers. Adam Bain, President of Global Revenue at Twitter, has stated that advertisers are only charged when a video is 100 percent in view in a user's feed. In other words, if a part of the video is cut off when viewed, it does not count. When the video is viewed for at least 3 seconds, this is when Twitter charges advertisers.
Still, there are others who may not feel too enthusiastic about Twitter's new functionality. They can rest assured that although the feature is activated by default, users who want to do away with auto play can always disable the functionality via their account's settings. Also, auto played videos are muted, which means users will not have to deal with multiple videos auto playing simultaneously, which can often happen when one is viewing a Twitter feed using a large monitor or display screen.
When a person clicks or taps a video, a full screen view of the content is launched and the sound is automatically activated. The social media giant is even offering an option wherein users can only auto play when connected to Wi-Fi so that their data limits will not be in danger. And when users are in areas where there is limited bandwidth, or when data fees are expensive, Twitter will automatically default to the old click or tap to play setup.
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