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  1. Sound will autoplay for videos in newsfeed: About 60% of videos on Snapchat play with the sound on, giving Snapchat a leg up for video advertisers. Facebook reportedly had an 80% video sound off rate.
  2. Vertical Video: Snapchat championed vertical video, and began pushing it in the market in 2015, when they said vertical video yields the best-performing shows and ads and ads are viewed 9x more frequently when shot vertically over horizontally. Facebook began testing in-feed vertical video in 2016 and the feature will now be available on iPhone and Android devices.
  3. Watch and Scroll: It's now possible to minimize the video so that it keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. This is something publishers have been long-experimenting, to help increase video engagement numbers as viewers navigate their sites. CNN.com and YouTube have similar watch and scroll video features.

Why it matters:

Facebook is scrambling to optimize its video viewing experience to be able to increase the competitiveness of video advertising in its ad auction and to compete with other platforms to win video advertising dollars. 2017 is supposed to be a slow growth year for Facebook advertising, and revenues are expected to come down significantly.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

Black Friday in-store shopping up from 2020 but trails pre-pandemic levels

Shoppers carry their purchases during Black Friday shopping at Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont of Greater Chicago Area, Illinois on Nov. 26, 2021. Photo: Joel Lerner/Xinhua via Getty Images

More shoppers flocked to stores on Black Friday this year compared to last, but online shopping was lower than expected, according to data from Friday.

Driving the news: Online shopping was on the lower end of what was expected, largely because people had been ringing up their shopping carts earlier in the year in an effort to skirt potential supply chain issues, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.