Not Me, Either

Personally, I think the only fans of auto-play videos are those who develop them, advertisers, and user-experience noobs.

On websites, auto-play videos are a dog's dinner for UX (user-experience). Most users despise them. Their intrusive nature assumes users want to view them, forces visitors to hunt for the video on a webpage in order to locate a stop/pause button, and chews up bandwidth without asking. Websites that embed auto-play videos simply don't care about user-experience – even when videos that auto-play are muted.

So why does today's mobile scene seem infested with people who are pushing for auto-play videos in apps (shoutout to Facebook and Twitter – who's current CEO is now considering this dog's breakfast too)?

Often when a poor UX product decision is made, it springs from grandiose ideas of monetization at the expense of users. There’s nothing wrong with trying to make a few bucks, but when it’s done in the knowledge that users won’t like how it affects their experience, then it just confirms that UX isn’t part of the equation.

Auto-play videos quite simply fester out of a UX noob's tin foil hat warped too often by advertisers who simply don't get what makes a product or website great.

The following story of Facebook's atrocious app record as told through it's numerous one and two star app reviews is a tale of what user's think of auto-play videos (not to even mention how they are likely the cause of other complaints – app hangs and crashes).

A Twitter search of “auto play videos” provides enough commentary to cause any decent product manager reason to pause and crawl on hands and knees to implore the executive team not to support auto-play videos.

Back to the Facebook app reviews though – please note the auto-play video complaints while keeping in mind that app hangs and crashes could be a byproduct of them too.

A Facebook App Tragedy

Are you a fan of auto-play videos? I'd love to hear why (as long as you aren't a developer for them, an advertiser, or marketer – I already understand that side of the conversation, but stand on the UX side).

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