When Vine introduced loop counts, it instantly replaced likes and shares to become the default metric to gauge the popularity of a video. Facebook has dabbled with a similar technique for auto-play videos in users' mobile Newsfeeds, but only now has it appeared on its other popular social network, Instagram. It comes in an update to the iOS app and across the web (expect Android to follow), ensuring that you'll automatically see your followers' 15 second (or less) videos over and over. Gone are pause buttons, replaced with the option to unmute videos that auto-play as you scroll down your feed.
While it's certainly easier to show friends and family videos without having to manually restart them, Instagram's new feature will directly benefit those willing to spend money on the service. That's right, advertisers can take out video ads safe in the knowledge that they'll get far more views than before. The company hasn't yet rolled out video counts, but as Facebook and Twitter continue to battle over these shareable square videos, we wouldn't be surprised if they popped up in a future update.
A video posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Nov 4, 2014 at 7:55pm PST