Google has added autoplaying videos to search.
The clips automatically start when your results load, and can show up even if you aren’t specifically looking for a video.
They could prove a controversial addition, as search has always been clean and relatively free of clutter, and autoplaying videos have provoked irritation on other platforms.
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The clips appear on the right-hand side of the results page, inside the Knowledge Panel.
They currently autoplay on desktop only, reports , which spotted them first after searching for “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and “justice league release date”.
While they still appear on mobile, you have to tap them for them to start playing. That will come as a relief for any users who don’t have unlimited data.
Another small positive is that they don’t automatically play with sound – you have to click to hear any audio.
Somewhat confusingly, the videos included on the search page appear to come from random, unofficial sources, with identical searches from different countries surfacing clips from different YouTube accounts.
Google has confirmed it is testing the autoplay functionality.
“We are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the Search experience for our users, but have no plans to announce at this time,” a spokesperson said.
That means it isn’t available for all users at the moment, and might never be rolled out if it proves particularly irksome.
, and many users would agree they can be in-your-face and overly obtrusive.
Last week, reports emerged suggesting , by adding extra information like video clips, news stories and cards.
The company, however, denied the suggestions, describing them as “not strictly accurate”.