Erica Flores

YouTube mobile apps will now automatically play videos on …

YouTube has announced that it is activating a feature of its Premium YouTube applications, although it is not the background playback that everyone wants. When deployed now, home autoplay is a new default for YouTube’s Android and iOS apps that will automatically start playing the videos you watch on the Home tab. Google will allow the option to disable it, or will only keep it on when connected to Wi-Fi, but the company seems convinced that autoplay at home is a better way to experience and navigate YouTube on the go.

Autoplay at home will certainly help in one aspect: inflate the eyesight. Google’s main goal with this feature is to make videos easier to digest in a mobile context, so that the company is offering them with as much friction as possible and in a format that doesn’t require sound (muted, with subtitles) . For creators, this means a greater opportunity to monetize their stuff, should Google’s algorithms determine that it’s attractive enough to spread to people’s YouTube Home feeds, and for YouTube it means engagement metrics every time. higher.

In a video explaining the change, YouTube Product Manager David Sharon digs a little deeper into the implications of autoplay at home. Google has worked to reduce the mobile data consumption of autoplay videos, and it also offers three different types of captions: automatic, creator-uploaded, and shared sources. Also, as the company is mindful of how much time creators spend creating the perfect thumbnail for each video, autoplay previews will only start playing after a short pause to display the thumbnail.

While YouTube Premium users have apparently welcomed the Autoplay on Home rollout they’ve had for the past six months, it’s not obvious that everyone else is picking up on the change so warmly. Defaults are very important in the software world, and it’s hard to get away from the feeling that YouTube will become a visually noisier and more distracted place once this change occurs. How it aligns with Google’s stated effort to improve the “digital well-being” of its users is not immediately clear.