Over the years poor web development standards and practices have caused us to have to block various annoying instances like popups, and autoplay music (music would play when the page loaded and there usually wasn’t any place to turn it off or mute it). Ads had become so prevailent and intrusive that we found ourselves having to block those too. These days we’ve seen these very same poor development standards and practices with regard to page video autoplays. You load a page (usually a news site of some sort) and we are left scrambling to shut it off.
The video autoplay blocking feature is the latest attempt from Google to make the internet a more enjoyable place to navigate. It recently launched a built-in ad blocker for Chrome designed to filter intrusive ads like pop-up ads, countdown ads that appear before a page loads, and large sticky ads. Autoplay videos with sound were also listed in the types of ads it intended to block, but it appears Google has chosen to pause those ads instead of banning them entirely.
VentureBeat tested the new tool and discovered autoplay videos that are muted still automatically play, while autoplay videos with sound are paused by default. That even means YouTube videos shouldn’t immediately play when loaded in a new tab, though this wasn’t always the case in other independent testing.
“Users watch and listen to a lot of media, and autoplay can make it faster and easier to consume on the web. However, one of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing,” Google software engineer Mounir Lamouri wrote in a post last year.
To upgrade your browser, press on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of your display and look for a green, orange, or red update icon. If it’s there, press “Update Google Chrome” and restart your browser. Once you’ve gone through those steps, you can stop worrying about having to quickly hit the mute button every time you open a tab with an autoplay video.
If you don’t see the Chrome 66 update just yet, don’t panic. Google will release the new version over the next few weeks.
It’s expected that other browsers like Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox will follow suit sometime in the near future with this latest attempt at keeping the end user happily surfing along the internet.