Seems like a timely response to google’s decision to have autoplay content on the search result page.
I haven’t really used Google search in a while, and I’m not about to go check now, but I know that the web has turned into an increasingly user-hostile environment. The popup ads of yesteryear seem so innocuous now compared with every possible dark manipulation and annoyance that they can come up with in order to get your daily dose of ads in order to fulfill your duty to capitalism.
Do you have a link to a recent article about this? I can only find news items from 2017 when it appears they tried a similar experiment.
I thought I read an article via lobste.rs about trailing autoplay content on the search result page just a few days before op. However, I can no longer find it. Perhaps I found the same 2017 the guardian article you mentioned. Sorry.
Why not just block all autoplay?
I don’t get why so many news websites have this autoplaying video, which gets pinned when you scroll down 🤦; even without audio this seems like terrible UX design: who wants to be distracted by a bunch of moving images when reading text? I certainly don’t.
Either I am a very special users or there are a lot of really bad web designers. I suspect it’s probably the latter. Autoplaying video is the <blink> and <marquee> of this decade.
Its because most “gifs” these days are actually just videos with no sound. This change is aiming to not break that which would cause websites to revert to the much less efficient actual gifs.
I wouldn’t mind blocking actual animated gifs from animating without a click too.
(and I’m sure there’s a variant with a per-image enabling or something…)
I strongly suspect that it is cargo-cult behaviour – someone somewhere heard that video coverts at 17x the rate of text and thus obviously it is the case that any video is therefore better than any other medium. Add in panic over shrinking ad rates, and you have the recipe for a self-destructive feedback loop.
Advertising is really a scourge.
In many cases, it may have been a decision based on conversion metrics. Not cargo-culting, actual data-driven decision making.
Of course, data-driven decisions are only as good as the data. There is some dispute over the extent to which those metrics were real.
I don’t even mind the autoplay video on the top of the page. I get that this can be useful.
What I don’t get in particular is the small video in the bottom-right corner that so many websites add. If I scroll down, then I’m clearly not interested i your fecking video, so why continue forcing it upon me? I simple stopped visiting websites that do this. It’s obnoxious beyond belief.
In fact, when utilized correct, autoplay doesn’t need to be bad, if it only start playing when the user focuses the tab/window and stops playing when people scroll past it.
It’s not very hard really.
It seems like browsers (and addons) are in a sort of absurd and increasingly inefficient arms race with websites to maintain the status quo.
We start with something simple. Text, maybe a few images. Then one side keeps adding more and more features and flexibility, while the other side has to implement ever more complicated popup blockers, ad blockers, “reader mode”s and so on in order distil the content back out of the mess and present it to the user in a palatable form.