Love them or hate them, autoplay videos are coming to YouTube’s mobile apps on Android and iOS. Google sees this as the perfect way to make previewing videos easier for viewers, but it’s sure to divide opinion.
The feature Google is enabling in its YouTube mobile apps is called “Autoplay on Home,” which has been available to YouTube Premium subscribers for over half a year. It will be switched on “over the next few weeks” and triggers videos to start playing automatically without audio and captions turned on in the YouTube Home tab.
By automatically playing videos, Google says it is responding to calls from users for “easier ways to preview videos and watch YouTube on-the-go.” The expected knock-on effect is longer engagement time on YouTube, and of course, videos are going to start getting a lot more views because they play and register a watch automatically now.
As the video above explains, you can adjust Autoplay on Home’s behavior if you don’t like it or want to limit when it happens. As well as turning it off completely, the YouTube app can limit it to only work when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. That way videos won’t eat up your data allowance each month.
As this is going to be an opt-out feature, the majority of mobile YouTube users are likely to leave it switched on or not realize they can limit its use in settings. But if you prefer an experience where YouTube just shows you a static thumbnail preview, you can get that back with a quick settings change.
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