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Instagram's latest iOS update removes option to disable automatic video playback (update: Android too)

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 11, 2013
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If you're like us, you turned off Instagram's automatic video playback almost as soon as video became available. However, those who've grabbed the service's latest iOS app have discovered an unpleasant surprise: the auto-play toggle has quietly disappeared. Clips will play muted and can be limited to preloading on WiFi, but there's no way to stop them from playing in the first place. The change hasn't (yet) reached Android users. It's not clear just why the option went away, and we've reached out to Instagram for answers. However, the change comes right before the media sharing service starts running ads; whether or not the company removed the setting with ads in mind, it's very convenient for marketers.

Update: An Instagram spokesperson tells us that it disabled the option due to "confusion" from users regarding what clips will play with sound. This doesn't address concerns that users have lost some control over video, but it may put some fears to rest.

Update 2: An update for the Android app has arrived that makes the same change. The toggle for disabling video autoplay is gone in 4.2.1, replaced with the same option to preload always or just on WiFi. The changelog calls it "Added setting to help you control data usage when watching video," but you may have your own, different description.

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