Upcoming changes to the Chrome web browser are taking aim at autoplay videos — specifically those annoying blasts of sound that can sometimes hold the online experience hostage.
In response to complaints about “unexpected media playback,” Google unveiled updates to the Chrome web browser to give users more control. Version 63, expected next month, will allow users to mute audio for individual sites and retain the setting between browsing sessions. Version 64, slated for January, will allow autoplay for silent videos or specific media designated by the user.
According to Google’s Chromium blog, unwanted autoplay is a top complaint among users, who see it wasting data and power just to deliver noisy, unexpected intrusions. The updates will also “unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers.” The move follows the tech company’s June announcement of a new built-in, Chrome ad blocker, coming in early 2018.
Based on NetMarketShare’s analysis, Chrome continues to lead the desktop and mobile browser markets. Just as modifications to Facebook policies can hobble social campaigns, Google’s Chrome development can have ripple effects — particularly when it shapes consumers’ online media experience.
Speaking of Facebook, the social network is experimenting with a new “snooze” feature that lets people temporarily pause updates from friends, groups and business pages. The company told technology site TechCrunch, “We’re testing new ways to give people control over their news feeds so they can stay connected with the stories they find most relevant.”
In other words, users may get a new social purgatory where they can send brands and personas that irritate them, at least until they decide whether to banish or welcome them back into their feeds.