Google has announced that its Web browser Chrome will soon be more strict with auto-playing videos on webpages, becoming the latest Silicon Valley giant to take a step against the increasingly annoying advertisement tactics employed by Web publishers and players in other industries.
Starting with Chrome 64, which the company plans to release in early 2018, Google says it will only permit auto video playback if a user has shown interest in the clip or if the sound is muted by default. A user can show interest in a video by clicking or tapping somewhere on the website during the browsing session, Google elaborated. Auto-playing videos start to play on their own when you visit certain websites.
Google will also show mercy to websites that play auto-playing videos if a user has added a shortcut to the website on their home screen, or in the past have frequently played media on the website on desktop. The upcoming changes to how Chrome will handle auto-playing videos will give users improved control over how they want different websites to behave, the company said.
"These changes will also unify desktop and mobile web behaviour, making Web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers," the company said in a blog post. The move will also reduce power consumption and data consumption on a user's device and also improve the general user experience, the company said. As you can imagine, an auto-playing video drastically sips data as well as battery on the device.
In the meantime, the company says soon-to-be-released Chrome 63 will introduce a feature that will allow users to completely disable audio for individual websites. Chrome will remember the settings and treat those pages accordingly in the future.
The move will certainly not please advertisers and Web publishers, who have already expressed concerns to Apple for introducing several strict privacy settings in a version of Safari Web browser which will be publicly available to customers later this month.