Google Chrome 66 Will Block Some Auto-Play Videos



/ 7 months ago

Google Chrome

Over the past couple of months, Google has been making some major changes to Google Chrome. The Chrome browser has been getting a number of changes to help boost usability. The goal is to improve the user experience when browsing the web. Last month, we got a built-in ad-blocker by default. For Chrome 66, Google is introducing another welcome feature blocking some autoplaying videos by default. This is due to the annoyance autoplaying videos can cause.

The new autoplay video blocker will follow 4 major policy guidelines. The video will autoplay if it fits into one of 4 categories. First, Chrome will play the video if muted or has no audio. Second, the obvious one is if the user is interacting with the web page the video is on. This interaction will require clicking or tapping to trigger. For mobile users, there is a special category. Videos will autoplay from websites pinned to the Home Screen.

Finally, there is the final category which is more complex. Furthermore, this category only applies to desktop users. This part of the Media Engagement index. Autoplay is triggered when the user plays significant video on at least 70% of visits. Autoplay will stop once the threshold drops to 50%. Google considers video significant when it has audio, isn’t muted, is on a visible tab and is larger than 200 x 140.

Google plans to track video autoplay by user profiles. This means all Chrome enabled devices should have the same experience for the same user. The basic goal is to have autoplay videos enabled only for video-centric sites. The new measures should roll out sometime in mid-April. It will be interesting to see how this will all play out. A more useful feature would be an autoplay whitelist for easy user control but Google doesn’t want to go that far yet.

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