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Straight to video: Facebook to add 'view counts' to autoplay newsfeed vids

Will mobile bills rocket?

Facebook has apparently watched video views explode since the free content ad network decided to set them to play automatically on its News Feed.

The Mark Zuckerberg-run company said on Sunday that an average of more than 1 billion vids had been watched every day since June this year.

However, there's a potential side-effect to all those Ice Bucket Challenge clips playing in a user's Facebook feed: mobile bills are apparently ballooning, it has been claimed.

Facebook said yesterday that video views had mushroomed 50 per cent from May through to July. It added that more than 65 per cent of all auto-play clips were watched on mobile devices.

Now the company will add a play count to video views, just as Google's YouTube does.

Facebook debuted the auto-play vid feature in September 2013 and then proceeded to slowly roll it out to the company's 1.3 billion-strong userbase.

However, allowing the videos to play automatically by default on the network means that more data is being gulped on mobile devices, which suggests that, for some, the Ice Bucket Challenge has led to an icy stare when Facebookers' phone bills land.

Facebook said it tweaked its video ranking algorithm in June and since then views of auto-play clips have rocketed on the network.

It has also recently changed the feature, which is set to be on by default, to try to decrease the amount of data being munched on mobiles. Facebook also has an option for smartphone and fondleslab users to set their devices to only enable the auto-play function over a wireless connection. ®

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