We’ve all been there: You’re in a quiet classroom or office, innocently click a link to open a new tab of news on your laptop, and boom! The audio from a tangentially-related auto-playing video is suddenly blaring from your speakers. Sure, you lunge to turn it off as soon as you can, but the damage is done, and everyone is glaring at you. But there’s hope: Developers know how much auto-play stinks, and so two major browsers will start muting all that junk for you.
We learned about these updates from CNET, which naturally shared the news on a page that includes an auto-play video that blares music. Even so, we’re delighted to share the news, which will make the internet a more pleasant place to click around. Users will be able to set their autoplay preferences for each Google account.
In Google’s Chrome browser, the change will happen with version 64, coming in January. If you prefer to have videos play automatically, you an tell Chrome so. If you don’t have a compelling reason to, leave auto-play off, and enjoy the lovely quiet.
Apple plans to introduce a similar feature to its Safari browser, which will be available as part of the newest version of MacOS, High Sierra, available for download later this month.
Ad industry groups are upset that the new version of Apple’s browser will be installed on users’ computers when they upgrade their operating systems, whether they request the new browser or not.
Why are advertisers upset? This new version limits advertisers’ ability to track users using cookies, or tiny files that identify a customer that reside on that customer’s computer.
Naturally, the page where you can read an article about that change on AdAge also has an autoplay video.