Google Chrome

Google Chrome Finally Ends Autoplay on Background Tabs

2 min read
This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

Chrome will soon roll-out a feature that keeps tabs from autoplaying if they are not in the foreground, according to TechCrunch. And while that means videos will still auto-play when a tab is in the foreground, the innovation saves Chrome users from a cacophony of autoplay advertisements when they open multiple tabs at once.

For users who like to play music on a background tab, the change allows the music to play: As long as the user focuses on the tab at some point, the autoplay will continue to run unless the tab is closed.

“This means no more “Where’s that sound coming from?” moments when an ad decides to autoplay in a tab you’ve specifically opened in the background,” writes François Beaufort, Google’s Chromium evangelist, in a Google+ announcement.

In the wake of the shooting of two journalists, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, in Roanoke, Virginia, many people on Twitter and Facebook have called for an end to autoplay. The shooter had uploaded a video of the murders to his Twitter feed, and because of autoplay, people viewing the feed were involuntarily subjected to the video. This Chrome update is not an answer to those requests–even with this change, those videos would have still autoplayed if they were in the user’s primary tab.

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