Autoplay. It gets me every time.
Thankfully, there is a solution on the horizon: Google Chrome will stop autoplaying videos unless they're muted.
Mounir Lamouri, a Google software engineer, wrote on Chrome's official blog, "Starting in Chrome 64, autoplay will be allowed when either the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media."
Chrome is the most popular browser in the US, with 44.5% market share, according to the federal Digital Analytics Program.
Chrome will allow unmuted autoplay based on four factors laid out in a second, more detailed blog post:
- The content is muted, or does not include any audio (video only)
- The user tapped or clicked somewhere on the site during the browsing session
- On mobile, if the site has been added to the Home Screen by the user
- On desktop, if the user has frequently played media on the site, according to the Media Engagement Index
Chrome 63 will also add an option to disable sound autoplay for individual sites, according to Lamouri's blog post. So if there's one site that always catches you off guard with blaring sound, you can shut it off.
Google made the changes based on user complaints, Lamouri wrote: "One of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing." The blog post even recommends that web developers "Use autoplay sparingly. Autoplay can be a powerful engagement tool, but it can also annoy users."
Yaaass Chrome!! Speak the truth!!!
FYI, you can already do this (kind of).
Ok, so it only works for one tab at a time, but still! Right click an open tab and select "Mute Tab."
The autoplay-silencing update is scheduled to be released to the stable channel on Jan. 23, 2018, though Chrome's development schedule says that the date may change.
Apple is introducing a similar feature in the next version of its Mac operating system, High Sierra, which debuts on Sept. 25. Safari, the browser native to Mac OS, holds 25% of the market, according to the Digital Analytics Program.
January can't come soon enough. Happy muting!
Blake Montgomery is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Blake Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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