Instagram for iOS makes controversial change to how autoplay video/audio is handled

Instagram is making a small but notable change to how it handles autoplaying videos. While the app has always autoplayed videos as you scroll through your feed, sound would be muted until you tap on the video. Now, Instagram is slightly changing up how sound is handled with videos…

Now, if you tap on one video to play the sound, all future videos will play with sound. This resets every time you close and open the app, but it saves you from having to repeatedly tap on videos to hear sound. If you only want to hear sound from one video, you can toggle it back off on the next video.

When you open Instagram, videos will still autoplay with the sound off. But if you tap to turn one video’s sound on, indicated with a speaker icon in the bottom left, all other videos will autoplay with sound too for the rest of your Instagram session.

You can still tap to toggle a video and all subsequent ones back to silent. And when you close the app, the autoplay audio resets to off for next time you use Instagram.

This feature has been gradually rolling out for a few days now, but Instagram has confirmed the change to TechCrunch yesterday.

This is an interesting compromise on Instagram’s part; it’s seemingly making the assumption that if you want to hear sound on one video, you want to hear it on all videos for the rest of that session. This move, however, will likely be met with mixed reactions from users as any sort of autoplaying sound generally takes people by surprise, even if they had enabled sound for a previous video in that session.

As TechCrunch notes, though, this will likely prove successful for advertisers and businesses as more users are likely to hear sound from their videos, even if it’s by accident.

What do you think of this change? Personally, I’m not a fan of any sort of autoplaying audio, but your mileage could vary. Let us know down in the comments. Instagram is available on the App Store.

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