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Google Communications Media The Internet Entertainment

Google Is Testing Autoplay Videos Directly In Search Results (thenextweb.com) 126

For a select group of individuals, Google has enabled autoplay videos in Search. "We are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the search experience for our users, but have no plans to announce [the feature] at this time," a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have similar features that were introduced fairly recently. If you find automatic videos to be a nuisance, now is the time to let Google know how you feel about this "feature."
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Google Is Testing Autoplay Videos Directly In Search Results

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  • by Sebby ( 238625 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:01PM (#54886847)
    "Google is Testing Pissing Users Off Even More Quickly"
    • by Cyberpunk Reality ( 4231325 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:19PM (#54886979)
      Yep. I haven't seen this (at Google or Bing), although with my browser and addon choices I'm probably unlikely to. But the day I do is the day I walk completely away from Google and don't look back.
    • by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:35PM (#54887065)

      yep. kill it with fire. autoplaying *anything* is annoying as all get out.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        more like Google is aggressively perpetuating fraudulent advertising statistics to sell to advertisers.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @11:34PM (#54888581) Homepage

        EspeciaÅly when at work.

        And it's pretty common to search for stuff when at work.

      • So, in general,
        - Uninstall, or better, never install flash.
        - If you must install flash, ensure it's set to require permission to run.
        This should stop flash being used to load video.

        Then one method to stop HTML5 video, in Firefox and it's derivatives:
        - about:config, then
        - search for "autoplay". Until you land on "media.autoplay.enabled". Then toggle to false.

        This stops videos in their tracks.
        Or use a good plug-in to stop this.

        But yeah, I won't be using google for search if this is a thing.

        Autoplay video must

      • Well, the only exception is when I go to a YouTube URL of my choosing. But that stupid "auto-play next video" is annoying when I happen to view a video that's part of a playlist.

        The basic problem, for videos and anything else, is always: don't make choices for the user.

    • by tsa ( 15680 )

      That'll cost them dearly.

    • by dkman ( 863999 )

      I don't want auto play videos (my addons wouldn't allow it anyhow). I don't want auto play dvds, I turn that crap off.

      I don't know why anyone thinks people do, or should, want that. People are just lazy.

      • by goose-incarnated ( 1145029 ) on Thursday July 27, 2017 @03:44AM (#54889321) Journal

        I don't want auto play videos (my addons wouldn't allow it anyhow). I don't want auto play dvds, I turn that crap off.

        I don't know why anyone thinks people do, or should, want that. People are just lazy.

        Google appears to have forgotten how and why they toppled altavista and yahoo.

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          They have not. Why would you think that? The world has moved on and expectations are different now. Most people do not have a 28.8 modem anymore.

          • While Google's sparsity was an obvious advantage in the days of modems, slow connection speeds wasn't the only advantage.

            It does look like Google's forgotten most of the things that made Google great in the beginning. The quality of their search results has been falling consistently for years now and they keep adding extra cruft to their pages.

            • by houghi ( 78078 )

              They are in the business of selling us to advertisers. And they are making more and more money from that, so I would say that they are doing pretty well.

              The ads are a means to get their product coming back for more. So they are pushing in the direction of more clicks as that means people will stay longer on YouTube and will see more ads and that means more revenue.

              Now if the test determines that it means less income, they will not roll it out for everybody, but just roll it back. Their data will determine i

          • Having a high speed connection means the auto-playing video starts annoying you instantly

    • I thought this was like the company mantra?

      As far as web browsing goes, aren't autoplaying videos" the de-facto definition of evil?? THE most despised advertisement ploy that marketing has been able to devise?
      How on earth do they think this is a good idea? (or are they just trolling us with this idea?)

    • Or "Google is wasting people's monthly data quotas without asking them".

  • Bing has had this for a while. Unfortunately almost nobody uses Bing so everyone will think Google invented it.
    • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:25PM (#54887013) Homepage
      In fact Google recently pushed me over to Bing with their terrible, terrible Google News re'design'. It's truly awful, and Bing News is closer to the older Google News layout so off I went.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        MS sucks. Google has become worse. Yeah, the old Google is dead and gone. Been that way for awhile. The inline news was awful as you already said. Even turned off, Chrome still bogs down compared to the version before news was implemented.

        They bombed on the Photos app update 1-2 years ago. The new app still doesn't work right.

        Inline searching sucks rocks.

        Search results are also piss poor given the constant revisions. Old searches pinpointed detailed, unique information right away. Now it's all popul

      • i can't find bing news in the app store, do you just use the website? genuine question (because i don't like the new google news layout either!)
      • I just installed this addon [mozilla.org] and set it to pick firefox os for news.google.com. Seems to flawlessly give the old news page.

        --
        Happy happy oh my friend.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Worse than that, Google not-News will send you crap advertorials as breaking news, really crap ones and it can be a real pain to uninstall on Android. Definately a big do not install on Google News and thats to the big shit at Alphabet, Google major advertiser censored and package news, will only get worse.

        When they screw with news, you only give them one chance, get it badly wrong and drop them and never ever go back. News is meant to be there in the interests of society, not as propaganda, not as marketi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bing marketshare sees unexpected 10000% increase.

  • About that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:06PM (#54886883)

    "We are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the search experience for our users"

    Then why the hell are you using autoplay videos?

    • Re:About that (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @07:19PM (#54887333) Homepage Journal

      As my physics teacher used to say: if you know the result beforehand it's not an experiment - it's a demonstration.

  • by Blinkin1200 ( 917437 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:07PM (#54886891)

    I disable video in the browser... replaced with click to play, but I would rather not wait until the video download completes.
    MSN is my current substitute for Google News, anyone find anything else?

    • Yeah I use this site called slashdot. They had autoplay ads and pissed everyone off for a little while. Hopefully they won't do that again.

    • I just installed this addon [mozilla.org] and set it to pick firefox os for news.google.com. Seems to flawlessly give the old news page.

      --
      I struggled with destiny up on the ledge, and gasped when, defeated, he slipped off the edge.

      • Thanks! That worked... until they get around to checking for firefox os. I had chased a few other similar options, but the google kept catching up to what I was using.

        Funny thing... on my phone, I keep checking the box to see the desktop site. Haha!

  • What I want is a hardware mute button that actually mutes. Everything. Like it disconnects the speaker physically. I'm so tired of "mute" being "mute ringtones but not video game noises" or "mutes videos on youtube but not text messages" etc.
    • step 1. buy cheap headphones
      step 2. cut both cables off at the plug
      step 3. enjoy looking like the cool dude whose smartphone still has an antenna.

      • My Samsung tablet still plays an alert through the speakers when I get an email and have headphones in, so...

      • step 1. buy cheap headphones
        step 2. cut both cables off at the plug
        step 3. enjoy looking like the cool dude whose smartphone still has an antenna.

        Why do you think they are removing that plug?

  • by CptLoRes ( 4510239 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:16PM (#54886955)
    stop trying to make it a push system instead.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For about a year I've been testing not using any google product for any reason.

    Pretty happy with results so far.

    • by rnturn ( 11092 )
      Yeah. Haven't been doing it as long as you but the results have, so far, been promising.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google has finally figured out how to tank its most profitable division. I know that I certainly won't be using Google if this pull off this bullshit.

  • by Picodon ( 4937267 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:41PM (#54887103)

    In Firefox (about:config), setting “media.autoplay.enabled” to “false” normally cures the problem. Obviously, it’ll affect all sites, including those where autoplay is largely expected (for example, YouTube), but it’s easy to get used to it.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Is there a way to have it not buffer the videos like on YouTube?

    • What the article fails to mention is that they also added a toggle to turn off autoplay.

      So, yeah, the feature is stupid, but you can turn it off if it offends you.

      Source: http://www.androidpolice.com/2... [androidpolice.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:49PM (#54887155)

    Unless I choose to start the download, it's not your bandwidth, I am paying for it not you, so I should have the choice of if I want to use it. Unless you want to pay for my internet..

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Then get a browser that enforces a total file size quota per page view, or install or make an add-on to do so in your existing browser.

  • by jetkust ( 596906 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @06:51PM (#54887167)
    Netflix did a similar thing to their roku app, and it's horrible. What do these companies gain by doing this? The user experience is no different than an intrusive add. And if companies start paying to get their videos to autoplay, then it IS an add.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, I switched to duckduckgo years ago, and feel funny when I use a browser that still uses google.

    if I want to search for something on amazon:

    !amazon some product

    if I want to search for a general term

    !wikipedia general term

    If I am desperate I man type in:
    !google something

    but usually that would not give more information.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      !g is shorter than !google.
      !b is bing if you ever need it.

      I also use !gi (google images) and !gm (google maps) regularly.

  • by chrism238 ( 657741 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @07:14PM (#54887309)
    And, fortunately, Apple is blocking the autoplaying of videos in its next release of macOS.
    • by hawk ( 1151 )

      That's why I'm using the High Sierra beta on this machine.

      It works well--although it failed tis morning, autoplaying on the first foxnews page I loaded.

      Foxnews.com is also the only place I've found with an option on it's web player to turn autoplay off (at least without logging in). However, it seems to reset itself to "on" every few weeks, which it had done (and then safari failed to block it, even though it was set to "never autoplay")

      or the most part, thought, it works (I hadn't used inn's website for y

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @07:24PM (#54887357)

    a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have similar features that were introduced fairly recently

    So what if they have ? This just screams of "me tooooooo!" and is not a valid reason to do something.

    Rule #1 of embedded videos, NEVER EVER autoplay unless that video is the main content of the page. Ignoring that just pisses off your users.
    We've all been there, followed a link to an interesting page and started reading it. After a few seconds there's an annoying voice waffling on (and it's always one of two people that do the voice overs.. a manically depressed male who couldn't give a toss what he's reading, or a hyperactive female who sounds like she's just drunk a gallon of Red Bull) about something completely irrelevant.
      So now you're frantically scrolling around the page trying to find the damn video amongst all the other flashing animated adverts to try and stop it so you can get back to the content you were part way through.

    Come on Google, you want to sell advert space, so why give viewers yet another reason to install an ad blocker ?

  • by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @07:38PM (#54887425)
    It is bad enough for big companies to indulge in all sorts of dubious practices, but, I, for one, find it even more irritating that they regularly take us for complete imbeciles. Google, what you want to do is get more money from your search stuff. So, be bold and say so. Do not pretend you are doing this autoplay nonsense, which is bound to annoy most people, because you want the best experience for your customers. Which you do not. What you want is more money from your customers - a very different proposition.
  • by SoftwareArtist ( 1472499 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @07:49PM (#54887489)

    I'd really like advice on this. I absolutely never want a video to autoplay. Period. NoScript seems to block most of them, but occasional sites still get through. Are there other tools I should look at?

    • In Firefox (in “about:config”):
      - set “media.block-autoplay-until-in-foreground” to “true” to disable autoplay in background tabs (until you switch to them).
      - set “media.autoplay.enabled” to “false” to disable autoplay in all circumstances (see my comment earlier about a small glitch in YouTube).

  • Dear Google (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:35PM (#54888113)
    I really want to blow through my dat cap. What is the best way to do that?

    Oh, you've already got an implemation planned?

    Thank you for being so responsive!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is that the average non-slashdotter thinks that video autoplay is normal and there is no remedy or drawbacks (turning off the option in Facebook that is on by default has helped quite a few acquaintances for example). Also what most Slashdotters don't realize is that 1 video autoplay in the advertising world is a chargeable action onto their customers, who happily pay for video views.

    In short, this is an industry-wide scam that all of the big players are doing and no one is calling out.

  • Go fuck yourself. Automatically playing video on the loading of a page, when the page being loaded was not _explicitly_ intended to present a video (e.g. YouTube, you should know this!) is user-hostile, and, frankly, a total dick move. I'm on the verge of relegating Google searches to lynx on a VPS on some other planet, as the alternatives are slowly catching up in capability.
    • Also @Google, if you can't understand this, and need an analogy, it's like using a remote control to turn on someone's TV through their window at 4AM. You just don't do that. Sad how aging companies often seem to regress in maturity.
  • Imagine how that's going to play out at your office when you innocently google something that turns up a Not Safe for Work video.

    Our office has our browsers pretty locked down, so we'd probably get a warning message up front, but I'm sure that's not the case at many businesses.

    • Doesn't everyone keep their work machines muted anyway?

      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        Muted or not, if you happen to accidentally put an "x" in front of hamster and get videos from that site, you're likely to get a call from HR.

  • If you find automatic videos to be a nuisance, now is the time to let Google know how you feel about this "feature."

    Since when has Google EVER listened to what the people want. What they look at is if it increases income or not.
    Since dejanews.com they have NEVER listened to their customers. Sometimes they did what their customers wanted, but correlation is not causation.

  • Slashdot have asked people if they want videos or not, and follow the majority respond. That was priceless.
  • We could do with considerably less of all the above. For a while there the menace of auto-play video was actively and widely discouraged as really bad practice, like the blink tag or doing your whole site in Flash. Somehow, though, it oozed itself out of the grave and has started sprouting like so many mushrooms on your lawn. I don't know who or what wants this. I do like sites that disable autoplay when you are running an ad blocker, and throw up a message that says something along the lines of "we won't b
  • Great, I love auto-play videos! But do you know what I love more? When the video I'm watching is suddenly interrupted by an interstitial in the middle of a consonant, just as the story becomes interesting. Don't forget that feature.

  • I've moved to using DDG entirely, to the point where where typing it is just muscle memory now.

    I still can't quite get on board with saying I "duck" things, though.

  • Does it really improve search experience of users?

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa

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