MAGLR BLOG / 03 September 2018

New autoplay restrictions in webbrowsers

Automatic video playback. Some find it beautiful, most people irritating. To prevent this kind of irritation, mainly caused by video banners, web browsers are tightening the rules. You now probably think 'Great, we finaly get rid of those annoying banners', problem is that these rules also affect the automatic playback of videos within Maglr publications.
 
The more popular webbrowsers already started implementing the rules last year, but now become more noticeable for users because it takes some time to implement updates worldwide. In the latest versions of Safari (iOs and MacOs) and Chrome, it means that automatic video playback is no longer allowed. Now there are some exceptions that still make autoplay possible.
 
Below a short overview of the rules you need to take into account. Although we have to say, during testing the rules sometimes turn out to be inconsistent with all the technical possibilities of how video can be implemented in a page.

The basic rules:
 
Desktop
 
A video always plays automatically when:

  • If the sound is turned off

 
A video with sound enabled will automatically play if:

  • You have clicked somewhere on the page before. The browser thus knows that you are working on that page. Note, suppose that you come to the page for the first time, have not clicked anywhere and want to play a video automatically, this does not work.
  • You have visited the domain several times already and watched videos during this visit. At that moment a video can start automatically. Problem with this scenario; it's hard to test. A webbrowser is making the decision for yo, based on earlier visits.

 
Mobile & Tablets
 
A video automatically plays:

  • If the sound is turned off

 
How do we deal with this?
 
If you have put videos on autoplay for desktop videos, we try to start the video. If this does not work, the user will see a PLAY icon with the default thumbnail. If you want to be sure that a video starts automatically, always switch off the sound of the video.
 
If a video on mobile has autoplay without sound, it starts playing. All other videos where the sound is on automatically get a PLAY button and therefore do not start automatically.