Google rolled out Chrome 66 earlier this month and it brought new autoplay blocking functionality to the world’s most popular web browser. The new autoplay rules blocked audio that played on its own as soon as the user opened a website, however, this change broke countless online games and apps that used autoplaying content for legitimate purposes. In response to their complaints, Google has announced that some of those changes have now been partially rolled back.
Chrome version 66 introduced new rules which would automatically mute autoplaying ads and videos that tend to be quite annoying and often end up pushing users to ad blockers which is not good for both Google and its publishers. However, this move ended up removing the audio completely from interactive web experiences that required specific commands.
“The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we didn’t do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers,” acknowledges Google product manager John Pallett.
To be clear, the company hasn’t completely removed the new autoplay rules that it introduced with Chrome 66. What it has done is roll back the limits on the Web Audio API system that app developers users. The limits on general autoplaying audio and video have been retained. The rollback isn’t permanent as the product manager says that they will be back in Chrome 70 this October so developers have plenty of time until then to update their code and bring it in harmony with Google’s guidelines.