Google has now rolled out its Chrome 66 update to its users on both Mac and iOS. The Mac version will now mute autoplaying content by default, with both desktop and mobile versions also including a passwords export option, security improvements and enhanced developer features.
Chrome 66’s mute autoplay feature feeds into the company’s wider intention to make the media playback experience more consistent when users are navigating the web. Moving forwards, web-hosted media can only automatically play if it has no audio, if the user interacted with the page during a previous browsing session, or if the user frequently plays media on the site.
Autoplay videos online do more than intrude and produce unwanted noise: they also consume a lot of computing resources, using up both data and power. Google has been gradually rolling out a number of new browsing features to address the issue, and in March announced changes to its Chrome autoplay policies.
“As you may have noticed, web browsers are moving towards stricter autoplay policies in order to improve the user experience, minimize incentives to install ad blockers, and reduce data consumption on expensive and/or constrained networks,” Google Chrome’s François Beaufort wrote in a March 29 blog post. “These changes are intended to give greater control of playback to users and to benefit publishers with legitimate use cases.”
Chrome is the world’s leading Web browser by a factor of four, with a 60 percent share of the market as of March, according to the Web-tracking site W3Counter. Apple’s Safari holds the number two spot with 15 percent of the market, followed by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Edge (8 percent), Firefox (7 percent), and Opera (3 percent).
Caroline Hugonenc, VP of Research at video advertising marketplace Teads, comments, “This change to Google Chrome means brands are going to need to rethink their video advertising.
“For advertisers, silent video doesn’t need to be detrimental to ad performance. Our research shows that video ads with sound off perform as well or better than sound on in half of cases, and even better when you make sure to optimise the ads on mute.
“My advice to advertisers and creatives would be to watch your video on mute and question if the message is clear. If it’s not, consider including captions on voice-over and music videos or using smart subtitles for dialogue videos. You can also enhance your message with interactive elements, such as chatbots, overlays and skins, that give consumers another visual way to engage.”
Sci-Tech Today: Google Updates Chrome Browser To Shut Up Autoplay Videos