Chrome’s newest browser, Chrome 64, will come out with a bang in 2018 but the sound associated with autoplay videos won’t be making a peep. Google has listened to its users and is going to make the browsing experience a little more enjoyable for them by removing the sound entirely from autoplay videos. They will however allow autoplay audio if the user has expressed interest in that media. In theory, this will reduce the incentive to download an ad blocker and reduce data consumption for people in constrained networks.
If you’re wondering what Google considers ‘expressed interest,’ it will only autoplay videos from sites that you’ve saved on your homescreen, in regards to mobile browsing. When you’re browsing on Chrome from a desktop, it will only autoplay video if you typically watch content from that site.
There could be a few hiccups on some websites if you’ve already tried to take action and block them, Google could potentially see this as engagement, and in turn you might see more autoplay videos. You don’t have to worry though, as there will be changes in Chrome 63 (coming out this fall) that will have the option to mute all the audio coming from a sites, indefinitely or during a browsing session.
Here is what Chrome’s timeline will look like in the coming months:
- September: Site muting available in M63 Beta, Collect Media Engagement Index in M62 Canary and Dev
- October: Site muting available in M63 Stable
- December: Autoplay policies available in M64 Beta
- January: Autoplay policies available in M64 Stable
This is just the beginning for Chrome when it comes to combating unwanted ads. Google announced that it was working on its own ad blocker, that will shut down ads on an entire website if just one single ad doesn’t comply with its standards. Even Google’s own ads are not exempt from these rules.
The idea behind this is that it’s a nice compromise for sites that accrue revenue from ads. They will be able operate without being too obnoxious for the user and recipient of the ads. This is a vastly different approach from Apple’s Safari 11, which is rumored to block autoplaying videos entirely.