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Facebook Reels aims to bring the popular short-form video format pioneered by TikTok directly into Facebook’s ecosystem. But despite strong initial adoption, users often express frustration around the default behavior of Reels requiring manual playback compared to competitive offerings automatically queueing up additional Reels continuously.

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So how can impatient Facebook viewers enable autoplay capabilities to sit back and let Reels roll without constant tapping? Can the Reels experience match the “lean back” consumption popularized in TikTok? This guide explores how to activate seamless facebook reels autoplay both in-app and on desktop.

Why Autoplay Improves Facebook’s Reels Experience

Understanding why manually triggering each Reel fails to satisfy expectations helps make the case for defaulting to autoplay instead:

Aligns with Competitive Offerings

Top-tier short video hubs like TikTok and YouTube Shorts condition users to expect endless auto-queued consumption thanks to autoplay mechanisms.

Creates More Addictive Viewing Journeys

Auto-advancing Reels sustains engagement by removing barriers to discover additional videos, keeping users transfixed for longer periods.

Allows Hands-Free Viewing

Similar to audio or TV, hands-free short video watching enables easier multitasking. Manual taps interrupt this experience.

By empowering instant endless viewing, autoplay makes Facebook Reels feel more competitive and complementary alongside entrenched options.

Autoplay Settings for Facebook Reels in Mobile Apps

Configuring mobile apps to automatically chain Reels playback requires digging into settings menus:

  1. Open the Facebook app then tap the ≡ Hamburger Menu
  2. Choose “Settings & Privacy”
  3. Select “Settings”
  4. Tap “Media and Contacts”
  5. Toggle “Auto-Play Videos” to the On position

<img src=”fb-reels-autoplay-on.png” alt=”Facebook mobile setting for enabling video autoplay” width=”300″>

This triggers autoplay not just for Reels but across Facebook Video. Use discretion enabling the setting on cellular data.

Activating Reels Autoplay on Facebook’s Website

In-browser configuration also allows hands-free Reels watching:

  1. Click the down ∨ arrow at top right on Facebook
  2. Choose “Settings & Privacy” then “Settings”
  3. Select “Videos” in left column
  4. Check the “Auto-Play Videos” checkbox

<img src=”fb-website-reels-autoplay.png” alt=”Facebook website settings section for toggling autoplay on” width=”500″>

Now Reels continuously chain without intervention on desktops.

Customizing Video Autoplay Behavior to Taste

If finding autoplay behavior either too aggressive or conservative, the Video settings offer advanced options like:

  • Specifying WiFi-only autoplay to conserve cellular data
  • Setting autoplay frequency – either “ Often” or “Every Time”
  • Choosing sound preferences – always muted or defaulting sound on

Adjust to strike an optimal balance for your preferences around automated Reels playback.

Troubleshooting Facebook Reels Autoplay Issues

If encountering issues getting Reels to automatically chain despite enabling autoplay, try these remedies:

  • Confirm the Facebook app or site is updated to the latest version
  • Check for pending app or browser updates requiring install
  • Verify autoplay setting sticks when rechecking media preferences
  • Try toggling the setting off and back on to retrigger behavior
  • Report bugs providing feedback to Facebook

Proper device and Facebook client updates together with accurate saving of your autoplay preference should reliably unlock the hands-free Reels viewing experience.

Lean-Back Viewing Sets Expectations for Short Video

Facebook Reels trails competitors in not enabling seamless viewing by default. But with greater user education on accessibility settings governing autoplay, expectations around this core short video experience can be met. Lean-back consumption clearly resonates, evidenced by platforms doubling down on the behavior through features like TikTok’s non-stop “Watch This” feed.

As Facebook Reels continues maturing, factoring usage signals and explicit user feedback into upgrading core behaviors will help the product fit more seamlessly into emerging short video ecosystem norms. But in the meantime, enjoy effortlessly bouncing from Reel to Reel thanks to deeper platform customization.

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