Facebook is livening up video with a TV app and fade-in sound as they continue their efforts to enrich the video experience on Facebook both on the desktop and on mobile devices. Today, the company has announced that they will be bringing a Facebook Video app to smart TVs, as well as set top box platforms like Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV devices. When it comes to the smart TV app, Facebook currently only mentions that Samsung smart TVs will be compatible, but they also plan to launch the video app for additional platforms in the future, though they did not mention which platforms those would be.
A rumor about a Facebook Video app for various TV platforms was first spotted back at the beginning of February, so today's confirmation wasn't the first that people have heard of it, but today's announcement make things official. The new upcoming video app will compliment the already available option to stream videos from Facebook to TVs through devices like Chromecast, and while some users may choose to still utilize that option, this gives some another way to enjoy their favorite videos from their news feeds, and it may make things easier to navigate if they prefer to watch streaming content through TV platforms like Fire TV where they have an actual remote.
Beyond the new TV app that's on the way Facebook is also launching a fade-in and fade-out feature for sound on videos that pop up on the news feed. Facebook tested the fading audio before implementing this change and they state they received plenty of positive feedback, and now when you scroll past videos in your feed the sound will fade-in as you come up to it and fade-out as you pass it. Previously users were required to tap on videos to hear the audio for the clip, as audio wouldn't automatically play even if the volume was turned up. Sound will only fade in if the volume is on, but if the phone is set to silent then users can pass through their feeds freely without worrying the audio will come on when passing by a video that comes up. It's also possible to disable the fade-in sound from the settings menu if you prefer to use the old method of enabling audio for videos in the news feed. Lastly, Facebook has also improved the way vertical videos look, and they have added a new option to minimize videos to a small player that sits in the corner (similar to the way you can do this in the YouTube app) so it's possible to watch videos as you continue scrolling through the feed. The vertical video improvements, minimized video player, and fade-in sound are all live from today and users should begin to see these changes soon if they don't already, while the TV app will be hitting supported device in the very near future.