Last month saw Google test out a controversial feature that introduced autoplaying videos on desktop search. This was met with quite a negative reception around the web, some going as far to say the feature was one of the “worst ideas Google has ever had”. From August 2017 onwards however, we can see Google rolling out a different autoplaying video feature in its search results on mobile devices.
These autoplaying videos will be far less intrusive and are displayed in place of the static images we are used to when a video carousel is served at the top of search results. Furthermore, these videos will only autoplay when the user is connected to wi-fi in order to be more data friendly; you can however turn the feature on for mobile network data if you so wish. On the other hand, you can opt out entirely if you don’t wish to see the feature at all. At the moment, the autoplaying previews are only available on Google Search and Chrome apps for Android, gradually rolling out over the course of the coming week.
“Any video on the web is eligible for inclusion, though Google may not have a preview for some of the newest videos available yet because it takes the servers a bit of time to build the previews”
Interestingly, Google’s machine learning technology will analyse the video and decide which 6-second part is most suitable for the preview. This is a big step in the right direction, as video becomes more and more popular among the web and social media, with Google’s Product Manger, Prashant Baheti writing “Video previews is the next step in helping you find information faster. More to come — but for now, Search on!”.