Google Play is set to follow apps like YouTube and Facebook and include auto-playing videos.
According to Google Play Console Help, auto-playing videos will come to Play Store listings starting September 2019. You can find the details under the ‘Promo Video’ section on the ‘Graphic assets, screenshots & video’ page.
Google says that auto-playing videos on store listings will “help more users discover your content at a glance.”
Unfortunately, most people don’t like auto-playing videos, and for good reason. They can be quite annoying, especially when browsing websites and suddenly a video begins to play.
That said, if handled tastefully, the addition won’t be too egregious. For one, if videos play silently, like on YouTube, that will be more tolerable than if they auto-play with sound. Further, there should be an option to disable auto-playing videos, at the very least when using mobile data.
One interesting tidbit from Google’s help page is that the company wants to keep the Play Store ad-free. The Play Store leverages YouTube to host promo videos. Google has asked developers to demonetize promo videos so that when they auto-play, users see the promo for the app, not a YouTube ad.
Developers have until November 1st, 2019, to do this. Google Play won’t show promo videos with ads.
Alternatively, developers can upload a second, demonetized version of the video specifically for use with Google Play. It’s a small hassle, but it should help improve the overall experience for users.