Last October, YouTube began testing automatically playing video in the Home feed of the mobile app. This evening, “Autoplay on Home” is widely rolling out to the Android client.
The feature is going live today as “Autoplay on Home” with settings located under the “Autoplay” menu. Last year, it was named “Play as you browse,” but the functionality remains essentially unchanged and does not work in “Subscriptions” or search results.
The feature automatically plays video as users browse through the Home feed. The clip that auto-starts is usually the one nearest the top of your screen. Users will first see the thumbnail, but after, a second a spinning loading indicator will appear to the left of the video duration label in the bottom-right corner.
When the video starts playing, users will see a waveform that denotes how there is sound in the clip. Content that contains Captions will have subtitles appear as the video plays in the Home tab.
Meanwhile, tapping on a thumbnail will begin playing it — with sound — in the usual player interface. When the app’s built-in picture-in-picture player is on screen (even if paused), Autoplay on Home will be disabled.
As of this evening, we’ve spotted the feature live on multiple devices. Heading to Settings > Autoplay will provide several options to control it, including a setting to have it only enabled when on Wi-Fi. For more, visit our full guide on the new functionality.
Given the settings and the ability to disable, “Autoplay on Home” is not too annoying a feature. Rather, it brings parity to the desktop site where hovering over a thumbnail plays the first few seconds of a video.