Increase Facebook video engagement by utilising silent playback


Facebook hosts upward of eight billion video views a day, however much of that is happening in silence, thanks to Facebook’s addition of the autoplay feature.

This makes sense for several reasons, including the fact that as more and more media is consumed on the go and in public, video autoplay allows users to consume content without the use of headphones, while avoiding disturbing those around them.

According to research, this move has been popular with consumers. Consider these statistics:

  • Eighty per cent of people have been found to react very negatively towards both Facebook and the advertiser when video ads play loudly on users’ newsfeeds
  • 85 per cent of Facebook videos are now being watched with the sound off; and
  • Adding captions to videos has increased video viewership by an average of 12 per cent (possibly in part due to increasing inclusivity and access for hearing impaired Facebook users).

This change presents a new opportunity for advertisers, however, it also means that the traditional advertiser needs to make some significant changes to their use of video content.

How to adapt your videos to optimise for Facebook autoplay

Here are some of the tactics a business can adopt to increase their chances of success with Facebook autoplay:

  • Show captions, logos and products within the first few seconds of a video
  • Communicate your story or narrative primarily through visuals, including animations and graphics
  • Utilise captions
  • Consider the use of shorter videos (approximately 30-45 seconds in length)

As Rye Clifton, the Director of Experience at GSD&M says, “Sound is still an option [on Facebook], but it’s not required. If you can make something compelling without needing people to turn the audio on, you’re ahead of people who are not thinking that way.”

Mobile apps that can assist with adding text and visuals to videos

  • AndroVid: This app (for Android) allows you to trim your clips, add text overlays and even merge multiple videos together
  • VideoShow: This is another Android app with a great range of editing tools including filters and text overlays
  • Gravie: For the Apple crowd, Gravie allows you to edit and trim videos and add graphical overlays and text (cost $1.99)
  • Overvideo+: Overvideo+ is another Apple app, that, at a price of $2.99, provides an extensive selection of video editing options
  • Vont: This Apple app is free and offers many of the features that Gravie and Overvideo+ do. It is super simple to use and includes over 400 fonts for adding text to videos.

Luke Chaffey is a Digital Marketing Specialist with KBB Digital. For advice on Digital Marketing, including SEO services and Digital Strategy, visit

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