An auto-playing video to the right of the search results. Source: BBC
So, it seems like after killing instant search, Google is going to take another controversial decision - auto-playing videos. It seems this new "feature" has been turned on for a small number of users. All the videos that play automatically all seem to be Youtube videos, although they don't show any ads. It's being speculated that Google will charge movie studios or other industries for auto-playing videos.At present, fortunately, the videos are kept muted. Also, the videos plays only a single time, and doesn't keeping looping around, unlike Facebook, who recently started turning on sound by default for auto-playing videos. Also, thankfully, this change is only applicable on desktop, while on mobile you still have to tap the play button for the video to start playing.
It's very interesting that Google didn't put ads on the videos, which suggests that they are looking at diversifying their sources of income.I think the recent fiasco, where a large number of big advertisers pulled out their ads for fear of their ads being shown on controversial content shows that companies like Google, despite their size, aren't completely untouchable. Ultimately, in a market where the user is the product and the advertisers are the customers, if you don't know what you're buying, you aren't going to be confident about the service - which means these companies have to be incredibly good about showing these ads to just the right subsection of people,which isn't always possible.That's why they are finding other ways to monetize their users.
Another aspect of this is the part where people point out that it's possible to stop this by changing browser settings. I think that's a very weak defense. Most people don't know, and so, will never use those settings,which means they will keep getting annoyed, never finding out that there is a pretty easy way to stop videos from aut...