Technology, Thoughts

Autoplay on the web is rage inducing

Go to the grocery store. Grab your shopping cart, carefully choosing the one with four squeak less wheels. Liesurley browse for bananas, add the box of Cheerios, select the pepper jack cheese that’s on sale (bonus!). Now, browse to the frozen food section. Scan the frosty shel-.

“HEY THERE SHOPPER. BUY SOME O’ THIS GOOD FROZEN ICE CREAM.”

Shocked, you’re now either at best surprised, or at worst, angry, and if anything, annoyed at the unexpected interruption. For all the media encountered during the day, you think you’d be desensitized to these random bouts of advertorial extroversion.

Websites do this constantly. Videos auto play. Advertising attempts to do something clever. The granddaddy of them all, the pop up, still makes an appearance. These are all hostile interruptions to the user and moreover, disrespect the site’s content.

On YouTube or a music site, you expect something to automatically start. On news pages, where there’s only a video story, that’s expected as well. ¬†On a news page with video and a text story, the video should not auto play. If they do, why so damn loud?

The solution, which publishers are in an arms race with, are browser plugins that disable auto play and other forms of advertising. Users get fed up with the interruptions and unruly, distracting advertising and install the plugins, which then the publishers seek to find a different way to make money off the users accessing the content.

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