Facebook will now autoplay videos when you scroll past them in your iOS Facebook app. The change was added with today's version 6.8 rollout for the app. There is no way to opt out of this change but you can adjust some of the playback features for autoplay to minimize the distraction, if peace is what you seek.
By default, video playback is mute. So there's that small comfort. But if you prefer to get blasted with both video and audio when you scroll past videos in your News Feed, you can turn it on on a video-by-video basis.
The change will affect both user uploads and video advertisements. So it's like the multimedia pop-ups we all know and love, except more social. (Are you beginning to get the sense we feel somewhat sarcastically ambivalent about this autoplay business?)
For those who need to watch out for 3G and 4G data charges, the autoplay feature can be set to Wi-Fi-only, meaning autoplay will not take place when you're on a cell network. Just visit the app settings to enable this option.
In the interest of fairness, honesty and positivity, we should point out that from an uploader's perspective, this change to the Facebook iOS app is actually a nice feature. It means more people will actually watch the videos you upload, as the sudden motion will capture their attention more easily.
No word on when or if this change will roll out to other operating systems.