google autoplay videos search results

Screengrab via The Drum/Twitter

The internet’s worst feature may be coming to Google search

'I wish Google had autoplay video,' said no one ever.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on Jul 27, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 10:33 pm CDT

The internet’s most annoying feature is starting to show up on Google—and people are outraged.

Google is reportedly testing autoplay videos in the Knowledge Panel of its search results. That’s the panel on the right that shows images and additional information about a topic. First discovered by SEM Post, some unlucky folks are now seeing a small YouTube video player appear directly under the name and images of the search term.

Semm Post said it saw autoplay trailers when searching two Warner Bros. films: Justice League and the Lego Ninjago Movie. It was not able to replicate those results on a mobile device, but Android Police discovered an autoplay setting in the Google app that suggests it may be coming to smartphones.

Fortunately, the videos play without sound and do not contain ads, so you won’t have to quickly search for the mute button every time you Google something. To enable sound, you’ll need to press on the video. That should spare you some headache, but it won’t stop autoplay videos from eating up bandwidth and potentially weighing your system down.

It’s no surprise then that people are outraged by the addition.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the feature with Search Engine Land, “We are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the search experience for our users, but have no plans to announce at this time.”

Ironically, Google is reportedly testing an ad-block feature for Chrome that would filter out ads deemed to cause a bad user experience. Autoplaying video ads are one of those, though Google specifically mentions “auto-play ads with sound.” Let’s hope it listens to the concerned voices on social media and includes all autoplay videos to the list.

H/T the Verge

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*First Published: Jul 27, 2017, 12:27 pm CDT