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Facebook Lets You Float Videos

People with short attention spans everywhere, rejoice! Facebook is tweaking the interface for videos displayed in its newsfeed, allowing users to float videos from the newsfeed so they can continue watching them while scrolling through other content. The new feature could boost engagement with video content as well as the auto-play video ads that appear in the newsfeed.

The feature is enabled by a button that appears in the lower right hand corner of the video player, in the same bar as controls for full screen mode and volume. When the user presses the button the video pops out of the newsfeed and continues playing in the lower left quadrant of the screen, but can be dragged elsewhere. The float function is currently only available to some users, although a broader rollout will probably follow.

There’s no question Facebook is making a major effort to dominate online video, the strategic heights of the emerging digital media landscape. Earlier this week the social titan began testing animated gifs in Messenger, allowing users to directly employ gifs without having to import them from third party platforms.

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Previously this month, Facebook began testing a new ad offering that inserts in-line ads between clips in Facebook’s suggested videos feature, enabling Facebook users to tap on a link from their Newsfeed to access the relevant video ads. Facebook has already lined up official content partners for the service including the NBA, Hearst, Fox Sports and Funny or Die, among others.

Previous reports state that the number of video views on Facebook increased from one billion per day in the third quarter of 2014 to four billion per day in the first quarter of 2015, with 75% of this viewing taking place on mobile.

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