May 31, 2018 –

Google starts blocking annoying autoplay videos in Chrome

Author: Leah Benzie
Leah Benzie
Digital Account Manager
Photo by: Burst
Google’s latest Chrome update, version 66, was recently rolled out with an update that tackles the annoyance of videos automatically playing on a browser if the sound is on by default.

This is music to the ears of a lot of Chrome users as there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a new website and having audio suddenly blast out at you, especially if you’re at work or in a quiet public place!

Google is gradually rolling out the personalised changes so Chrome can learn user preferences of which sites should be blocked - which is expected to be about half of unwanted autoplay sites.

A user new to Chrome with no browsing history will unfortunately still have to stop videos autoplaying on more than 1,000 popular sites where sound is played, but as they continue to browse the web, Chrome will begin to filter autoplay on sites where they play media with sound regularly and sites where they don’t.

This breakthrough for the world’s most popular web browser will not only prevent irritating and unexpected pre-loaded videos playing on the site the user has clicked on, but will also reduce the large amount of data the videos use, which can slow down the user’s browsing experience – particularly on mobile devices.

But the changes will see Google remember websites that users have clicked and played videos on in the past.

For example, the browser will only play videos automatically if the sound isn’t playing by default, if the user interacts with the site, or if they have previously shown an interest in media on the site.

‘Interest’ includes if the user has frequently played media on the site before when visiting from a desktop browser, if they’ve tapped or clicked on the screen during the browsing session, or if they’ve added the site to their home screen on a mobile device.

Overall, Google’s additional steps in version 66 will see autoplaying videos with sound blasting out a thing of the past.

For businesses, this update will be hugely beneficial in keeping customer retention and engagement, especially if they are using a mobile.

But businesses and organisations who enable autoplay should make sure videos are encoded correctly and still work in the background, so that everything behaves as expected.