Why it matters to you
Once you’ve indicated to Instagram that you’re alright with sound when playing videos, the app will autoplay sound for the rest of your session.
Google Chrome might be helping you mute unwanted noise during your browsing session, but it looks like Instagram is taking a different approach when it comes to volume on autoplay. The Facebook-owned photo sharing platform is taking a middle of the road approach to autoplay video sound, effectively remembering your preferences during any given Instagram browsing session, and keeping that preference consistent during your time on the app.
What does that mean, exactly? Basically, if you open up Instagram, the default will still be for videos to play sans sound. However, if you turn sound on in any given video (whether it’s an ad or organic content) by tapping on the speaker icon in the bottom left corner of a post, Instagram will remember that choice and play all your subesquent videos with sound on. Of course, if you decide that you don’t, in fact, want sound on for the rest of these videos, you can tap the speaker icon again to shut everything up, and the whole app will reset one you close out of it.
Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that this marks a “new update [that] rolled out recently,” and seems to be an attempt to make it easier for you to enjoy your Instagram experience with the sound on. After all, if you’re well-aware that all those cute cat videos you come across are oh so much better with the volume up, it can be a bit annoying to have to toggle the sound on every single time you scroll past such a video. But with this new update, Instagram assumes that if you’re comfortable watching one video with sound, you’re comfortable watching all videos with sound. And hey, if they’re wrong, you can always make adjustments as necessary.
That said, Instagram Stories videos will not be affected by this new change — they’ll only play with sound on if your smartphone is unmuted.
It only seemed like a matter of time before Instagram made this switch to having more sound with its videos. After all, parent company Facebook announced earlier this year that it would be moving away from muted autoplay videos (much to some users’ chagrin). So get your headphones ready, friends. You may be hearing a lot more from Instagram in the coming weeks.