Have you already seen on your Iphone the statistics of your screen time? You will be certainly chocked by the results and especially when you will realize that scrolling social networks represents your main screen time. To avoid this addictive behavior, the Senate in the US wants to ban autoplay video on social media. The UK is also following it. More generally are we facing the end of autoplay video?


How Policy-driven restrict autoplay video on social network?

On July 30, the Republican US Senator Josh Hawley offers a bill called The Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act to forbid autoplay video and infinite scroll on social platform. Social media refer here to Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter. This bill was taken after many controversies about the compulsive behaviors of social media’s users. Indeed, the screen time keeps increasing. Top managing teams of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have even admitted that they did not use on a private sphere their social media because of the existing risks. This bill points at the fact that these technologies have strongly decrypted the human psychology to exploit their loopholes. Autoplay video consists to launch a video without the agreement of the user. Following the collected data of the visitor, Facebook prepares a playlist of videos that will scroll automatically after one video finished. The purpose is to improve the engagement of the user meaning that he stays as long as possible on the social network. By studying human psychologies, these platforms know how to attract him. Thus, this bill wants to prevent abusive behaviors by limited these technologies. This could give ideas to other countries and extend this law.


But what about autoplay ads videos?

However, this bill leaves apart advertising video content. Over the last decades, ads videos have flourished all over the internet. This has been the best technology to increase the revenue of advertisers by 20% to 50%. Even if the user is generally annoyed by these ads, it is still the most relevant method. Advertising Autoplay is when video ads are launched automatically. In May 2018, Google Chrome banned autoplay video with sounds on. Ads with sounds on were used to attract visitors towards the ad visual or as a signal. This shows that change are happening commonly. So social media have to evolve. For example, Instagram turns the sound of an ad on only if the user clicks on the video. Moreover, ads videos are still a huge source of revenue for social media which represented $6.81 billion in 2018.

How to re think new sizes of videos?

Autoplay videos are not ready to disappear at least for ads. But the perspectives could be reduced, so advertisers should already think of their evolution. First, ever more countries are in favor of a limitation of autoplay videos. For example, the US bill wants to constraint social media to a neutral presentation of the video. The button “delete this video” should be highlighted in the same way as the button “play”. Also even if it remains the most attractive ads technology, consumers become less and less receptive to autoplay video. So agencies need to think about a more targeted and catchy content. For example, some advertisers privilege Gifs size which are short animated content. It tends to be very trendy among millennials and could differ from ads competitors.

So even if the spread of autoplay video seems limited, there is still a huge opportunity for video content that you need to follow. In fact in 2020, 80% of the screen time will be on video content, so press play!