Looking to upset your readers? Then you need to set your website to autoplay YouTube videos.
If you’re thinking of setting your website’s video setting to autoplay don’t. You’ll be sacrificing readers. Having a video that automatically starts the moment a visitor arrives on your site is a bad idea.
Do Not AutoPlay YouTube Videos on Your Website
1. The auto start videos act as an interruption, forcing your readers to make a decision that they may not be ready for. When your reader lands on your site for the first time, they’re trying to interpret your site’s purpose, navigation and reputation. This is a delicate phase. Kind of like a timid bird . If you spook the reader, by taking them outside their comfort zone, they are likely to retreat to the back button as quickly as possible. This is exacerbated by not being able to find a ‘stop video’ button.
2. Most videos have sound. Sometimes users are in an environment where they prefer that sounds weren’t playing. This could be at work or when someone is sleeping next to them. Imagine the users embarrassment when they load a site, and a video automatically starts bellowing: “I Can Tell You The Secret of Miracle Wealth!” You betcha the user is going to hit the back button in a flash
3. And each time the reader goes back to the home page, the video is going to begin loading again from the start. Repeating the first phrase ad nauseum for eternity. How annoying is that?
Advantages of Autoplay YouTube Videos
But ok, let’s look at the other side of the fence for a moment. Surely there are some advantages to using autoplay YouTube videos. These include:
1. Showing the world that you can code autoplay YouTube videos (Great article btw Brian)
2. Your video gets more views (whether it’s viewed to the end is another question)
3. You’re highlighting the content in the video. Effectively forcing engagement on your readers. Surely this has got to work for some readers?
Hmmm… those advantages don’t really win the jam donuts.
My advice is to happily feature your YouTube videos on your site, but let the user decide whether and when they want to play them. Don’t alienate your readers by forcing choice on them. When you force choice, people are inclined to retreat to the back button.
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