It’s not just you, Google also appears to be getting annoyed by websites setting their video content to autoplay with sound switched on. That is why starting in January 2018, the company will be making adjustments to Chrome to ensure autoplay doesn’t work unless the user indicates interest in viewing the media.
The announcement was made earlier today over on the Chrome developer blog. After the update next year, Chrome will only autoplay video content if the sound is muted by default. If not, then the content won’t play at all until a user specifically clicks on it.
For now, Google is dubbing this as ‘unified autoplay’, which will come into effect starting in Chrome 64. This means users won’t need to encounter unnecessary noise or data usage while browsing and gives them greater control to only play the content they are actually interested in seeing or hearing.
This change will unify desktop and mobile web behaviour, so web developers should expect both devices to behave the same. With that said, not all users will have the exact same preference when it comes to autoplaying media, so starting in Chrome 63, Google will also be adding a new user option to completely mute individual sites.
If a user mutes a site in particular, then this will persist between browsing sessions and allow only selected sites to autoplay audio.
KitGuru Says: Autoplaying video with sound on has become increasingly common amongst many sites I visit quite regularly. Even Facebook autoplays video audio now while scrolling. With that in mind, these new changes to Chrome sound like a huge improvement.