Sound: ON

by Common Thread Collective Collaborator

Oct. 09 2017

What Facebook’s Newest Video Feature Means For Digital Marketers


Facebook recently announced that videos would play with sound on automatically as users scroll, and claims that this update will make watching video on Facebook a “richer, more engaging, and more flexible” experience.


Many users are responding similarly to Facebook commenter Jorge B – “Awww thanks Facebook, you’re the best! The only thing people love more than autoplay video is autoplay video with sound. Ask MySpace.”


Sorry, Jorge.


But what does this mean for you? Does automated audio have potential to drive more ad revenue for e-commerce brands?


What we know for sure: Facebook video is the most powerful digital advertising product currently in existence and they test every feature before release, so changing one of the default ways that users access this feature will have a major impact on how users interact with ads.


So what does that impact look like?


More Effective Customer And Influencer Reviews


Forget the hassle of attempting to read the subtitles, getting bored, and then scrolling deeper into your feed. Now you get to hear Stephanie L’s iPhone testimonial about why she’s obsessed with Glossier’s Boy Brow, and how it’s changed her life (and her brows). The best part? Stephanie keeps raving as you scroll. Pretty nifty.


In Mark Zuckerberg’s IPO letter describing Facebook’s social mission, he stated, “As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use.” We all know how effective user and influencer reviews are. With the autoplay feature, brands have the opportunity to establish this shared trust amongst potential customers with one less barrier to entry.


Deeper Emotional Appeal


It’s clear that Facebook is successfully shifting into more of an audio/visual experience, rather than one simply ruled by text, photos, and links. Simple logic here: the more senses involved, the more engaged the user will be. (In fact, it probably won’t be long until ads are popping out as holograms from your screen.)


The effective combination of audio + video will trigger a deep, emotional reaction to an ad. According to the Harvard Business Review, “A story must first sustain attention by developing tension during the narrative. If the story is able to create that tension, then it is likely that attentive viewers/listeners will come to share the emotions of the characters in it, and after it ends, likely to continue mimicking the feelings and behaviors of those characters.”


With just audio OR visual, the narrative we create is significantly weaker, and the viewer is less likely to click. Time will tell as Facebook’s analytics speak to who’s watching with sound on or off, and how big of an effect this has on video views.


Quicker, Longer Engagement Rates


We all know that we have just three seconds on average to grab someone’s attention before we lose them entirely. The idea is to keep more users engaged for longer. With automated sound, we can have the user’s attention from second one, and we’re much more likely to keep them engaged. I mean, how much more likely would you be to click on an ad for Versace’s new dress line if Versace On The Floor was playing in the background? Rather likely.


Watch out though, don’t get too bold or you might end up with a Burger King fiasco. Ads will just call out from your newsfeed and command your smart device to shop their product for you:


“Alexa, go to and check out the new Nike Free TR7.”


“Ok, going to It looks like pink is the most popular — would you like to see what other colors are available? ”


Well shoot, why not?  “Sure Alexa. Do they have any pinks in a size 7?”


“Checking… yes, they do. It looks like they are offering free shipping if you order by midnight.”


Great. “Ok Alexa, order me a pair of pink Nike Free TR7s in a women’s 7.”


“They’ll be here tomorrow.”




OK it’s your turn Sound off in the comments and tell us what effect you think this feature is going to have in the digital marketing arena!


More from CTC:

Grow With The Flow: How Shopify’s E-Commerce Automation Makes Scaling Less Scary

3 Ways CTC Incentivizes Employees To Make Our Mission Theirs

6 Common (Marketing) Problems And How To Fix Them

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