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Google started rolling out a new version of Chrome last month that further addresses autoplay videos. The latest update, version 66, includes autoplay video changes that stop Chrome from automatically playing videos if the sound is on by default. Google is gradually rolling these changes out in a personalized way, so that Chrome learns user preferences of which sites should and should not be blocked. This should prevent audio randomly blasting out of your speakers when visiting a new site... READ MORE
Note: The Autoplay Policy launched in M66 Stable for audio and video elements and is effectively blocking roughly half of unwanted media autoplays in Chrome. For the Web Audio API, the autoplay policy will launch in M71. This affects web games, some WebRTC applications, and other web pages using audio features. Developers will need to update their code to take advantage of the policy. More details can be found in the Web Audio API section below.
Chrome's autoplay policies will change in April of 2018 and I'm here to tell you why and how this is going to affect video playback with sound. Spoiler alert: users are going to love it!
Figure 1. Internet memes tagged "autoplay" found on Imgflip and Imgur
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. These changes are intended to give greater control of playback to users and to benefit publishers with legitimate use cases.
Chrome's autoplay policies are simple:
Muted autoplay is always allowed.
Autoplay with sound is allowed if:
User has interacted with the domain (click, tap, etc.).
On desktop, the user's Media Engagement Index threshold has been crossed, meaning the user has previously play video with sound.
On mobile, the user has [added the site to their home screen].