The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013. / LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook’s auto-playing videos have been credited with part of its success in taking on YouTube

Twitter will now automatically play videos as users scroll through their feed, starting the films as they scroll past them.

The feature mimics one found on Facebook, which has been credited with its huge growth in video. Twitter says that it has added the feature to make it “even easier to enjoy video on Twitter”.

“Now native videos, Vines and GIFs will begin to play back automatically,” a blog post announcing the launch said. “So you can keep up with the action without missing a Tweet and get a better sense of what’s been shared instantly.”

Twitter has made a range of improvements to its video offerings over the last year, including making videos easier to start, allowing users to film them from within the app and showing Vine and Twitter videos within the timeline.

When the videos are autoplaying, users can click on them to have them expand. Turning the phone into landscape mode will allow the video to take up the full size of the screen and turn on the sound.

The new feature has been rolled out with thorough settings to turn it off. Users can opt to have videos act like before autoplay rolled out, or have the videos only autoplay when on wifi. And the feature will not be enabled for people in areas with high data rates or slow connections.

Those settings are likely to be important because the video can take up huge amounts of data. That is a criticism that is often made of Facebook’s autoplaying videos, along with the claim that they make the feed busy and loud.

Twitter is rolling out the feature on iOS and Twitter.com from now. An Android version is coming soon, the company said.

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