YouTube mobile apps will soon autoplay videos on the home tab


Google is rolling out a feature for YouTube's mobile apps that will automatically play muted, subtitled previews of videos as you scroll through the home tab. YouTube Premium subscribers have had Autoplay on Home for several months, but it's now available to everyone.

The company says it's introducing the feature in response to demand from users. "Previewing videos helps you make more informed decisions about whether you want to watch a video, leading to longer engagement with videos you choose to watch!" it said in a slightly corporate-sounding announcement on the YouTube Help Forum.

Save your data

According to Tubefilter, AutoPlay on Home first appeared over a year ago under the name Play as you Browse. It will soon be enabled for everyone by default, though you can disable it through the options menu, or set it to only activate over a Wi-Fi connection to conserve data.

Videos won't start playing instantly; you'll have a second to look at the thumbnail and decide whether you'd like to tap it immediately. Google also claims it's optimized autoplaying videos so they use much less data than they would if you played them full-screen. 

AutoPlay on Home means captions are now much more prominent, so this is a good time to check out the subtitles on your own videos and make sure they're accurate, using YouTube's automatic, creator-uploaded or crowd-sourced captioning options.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)