One of the most annoying things when browsing over web pages is when a video plays automatically, at the expense of your limited internet resources, power and even comfort. So annoying it is that you could even quit whatever you are doing in the name of closing the autoplay. Well, Google is reversing the evil in this with its latest update to the Chrome web browser.
In a newly designed policy, there are some goals that Google looks to achieve. To provide user control over what content can automatically play, to enable legitimate uses of autoplay without complicated workarounds, and to make progress towards consistent policies across the mobile and desktop platforms.
So starting with Chrome 64, autoplay video will only be allowed when either the media is not playing sound by default, or upon the user’s interest in the media – as explained in an official blog post.
Chrome will realize your interest in autoplay videos when you add a page to your smartphone home screen or when you constantly play content from a site on the desktop browser. Other than this, autoplay videos will be paused until you click play.
This will also see the browser do away with auto-play blocking, in a bid to make muted play more reliable, and to make it possible for sites and advertisers to use the muted videos instead of animated gifs. At least this will reduce on bandwidth consumption. So, Google is going to remove the block autoplay setting that is currently available on Chrome for mobile, and also do away with autoplay blocking in the instance when data saver mode is enabled on mobile.
In that regard, Google is asking developers to use autoplay sparingly, so as not to annoy users in the process. When in need of using it, a developer should consider starting off with muted content and let the user unmute if interested in further exploration. Developers are also asked to urge users to add their sites to the phone home screen on Android devices; to give the application unmated autoplay privileges.
The updates will be available for Chrome 63 next month and for Chrome 64 by January 2018, and Google hopes to give users much greater control over media play in their browser while enabling publishers easily implement auto-play where they find it fit for use.