What is the most annoying thing on the internet today? I’ll answer for you: autoplaying videos, of almost any kind. That is why Google says it is finally going to do something about it. That’s right! The next version of Google Chrome mobile will limit the ability for sites to autoplay videos.
No More Autoplay
Before you take your hat off and throw it jubilantly into the air, there are some caveats.
According to the Google blog post that announced the upcoming change, if you have previously shown an interest in the media, it will autoplay. This means if you have interacted with the page the media is hosted on, if you’ve played it before, or if you’ve added the site to your mobile homescreen, the media will autoplay.
In addition, video content will automatically play if there is no sound — cue videos all starting with sound turned off (call me cynical).
The changes should help those users on limited data packages, as well as those on spotty internet connections.
It Isn’t All Good
At the same, Google will be making additional changes related to autoplay to increase the reliability of advertisements using muted video. This is also to encourage sites and advertisers to create muted videos, rather than use lower quality GIFs instead.
First, the current block autoplay function available to Android users will be removed. Second, autoplay blocking on mobile devices in data save mode will also be removed. All in all, I think we are running at about even.
There is one final change. A new user option will allow users to complete disable audio for an entire site. So if you have frequently visited sites that constantly autoplay horrifically noisy videos, you can silence them — forever.
And better yet, that change persists through browser sessions.
The new user options are set to appear in Chrome 63, and the actual autoplay abuse control in Chrome 64.
Do you detest autoplay videos? Will you be glad to see the back of them? How many sites deserve to be permanently silenced? Who are the worst offenders? Let us know your thoughts below!
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