YouTube on Android tests more autoplay controls on Home page
YouTube has slowly rolled out more autoplay features on the home page in recent history. The desktop site shows a snippet of a given video when you roll your mouse over a thumbnail, while the mobile apps will now automatically play videos on the home tab (with the audio muted) on the Home tab if you aren’t scrolling. Now there might be another change for mobile on the way.
Android Police discovered a feature being tested in YouTube beta version 17.10.35 on Android, which darkens the background when a video starts playing from the Home tab. The app also adds buttons for un-muting the video, closed captioning, adding a video to your Watch Later playlist, or skipping to the next video on the Home tab. Tapping on the video opens it in the regular video player, as usual.
The new functionality is likely another move to increase viewer retention on the Home tab, as it allows a video to be played mostly normally (minus the ability to see comments, likes, and other data) without the viewer actually doing anything. However, it’s definitely annoying for anyone wanting to scroll through the Home page without one video taking control of the screen.
It’s not clear when, or if, this functionality will roll out to everyone — right now, it’s seemingly just being tested with select groups of people. We also don’t know if Google will offer a setting to turn off this behavior entirely, if it does roll out more widely.
Google has been adding other features to the YouTube app in recent months. Video transcriptions were just added to the Android app for YouTube, and an updated full-screen player interface with more buttons started rolling out around February. Google also introduced annual YouTube Premium and Music plans at discounted prices back in January.
Source: Android Police