Autoplay on Home | Backstage at YouTube


Hi everyone. I’m Daniel and we are back
at the YouTube space in L.A. getting ready to interview David Sharon,
Product Manager of a new feature called Autoplay on Home. It’s starting to roll out
to more of you today. And based on some initial feedback,
we’ve already made some changes. So we’re really excited
to continue that conversation. What do you say? Let’s get started. This is backstage at YouTube. David, thank you so much
for being here today. I’m really excited to ask you
about this new feature that you and your team launched. Awesome.
Thank you for having me. I’m excited to talk through Autoplay on Home. Of course! So the first question is
what is Autoplay on Home? Sure, so on iPhones and Android phones,
when you open the app on the home feed now videos will auto-play and they’re auto-playing
with sound off and captions on. So it’s always my favorite question
to get the backstory of products so how did you and the team
come up with the feature? One is how to best preview a video and the other one is how
to watch YouTube on the go. So let’s say I’m at a bus stop. There’s people around me,
but I still want to watch some YouTube. How do I do that? And we think Autoplay on Home
tackles both very nicely. OK. And there are some people
that have already tested out the product and they feel like
it’s not 100 percent for them. We give them the option
to disable the feature, right? We’ve heard that loud and clear and it was important for us
to still give control to the users on how to disable. We actually did a bit more than just that. Within settings,
there is a section called Autoplay. Within Autoplay,
there is a subsection called Autoplay on Home and that’s where you want to click through and you’ll see
there are three different options. The first one is “off”
and here you can turn it off. The second one is “Wi-Fi only”
where videos will play on Home only on Wi-Fi. And then the third one is “on.” And that means always on, which means
on your mobile data plan or on Wi-Fi this will play. OK. Nice. I currently have it on “on,”
but when I’m traveling I’ll turn it to Wi-Fi only. OK. – Just for you.
– But you turn it back on later. – Exactly.
– OK. – But just for you.
– OK. So I wanted to ask you actually
a bit about data consumption you touched on it a bit. Is it consuming more data? This is a very important piece
that we spend a lot of time on and yes, videos consume data. However what we’ve done is that we’ve really optimized the amount
of data it consumes to watch video in your home feed and it actually consumes much less
than if you watch it on the watch page. So on average, depending how much
you watch here versus watch there it will be the same on average,
even slightly less. But don’t expect to see that
in your data bill. OK. So another thing
that I’m really a big fan of is thumbnails like, I think they’re eye-catching
and I would really miss them if we remove that experience. Is that going away
with this Autoplay on Home? Absolutely not. OK, great. I love thumbnails too. The creator community does such a great job and invests so much time
in these great pieces of art which are thumbnails and what we’ve realized also
through user feedback is that thumbnails are
the best way to quickly scan and make a very quick decision. So instead of playing
right from the beginning when that video is in focus we give a brief pause
to let you see the thumbnail and make that quick decision. So you could decide to keep on going if
you already decided this is not what I want or stick around for the preview or if watching on the go, keep on watching. OK, nice. Sounds like the best of both worlds. – Thumbnail plus preview.
– We’re trying, we’re trying. Awesome. So you’ve mentioned captions briefly but it seems like
with videos auto-playing on mute captions plays a really big role. Yes, yes they do. And we’ve come a long way with captions. We now have 2 billion captioned tracks. We’ve started in 2006, and then in 2009 we launched auto-generated captions where we’re trying to, through machines,
understand what the video is saying and then generate a caption. OK. You’ll notice there’s inaccuracies
and we’ve done a lot to improve that but they’re still there
and there is still more room to go and we’ll continue
to invest in making improvements. So let’s say I’m waiting in line
and I see a preview. I click into the video. What happens? Very good question. And this is something that
we’ve also learned through user feedback. What happens is that depends if you’re previewing a video
or more engaged. If you’re previewing with a video what we do is that
we restart from the beginning. And the reason is that
you were just previewing. You don’t want to miss that intro. Right. But if you’re more engaged we resume the video
from where you left off on the Home feed so you can continue your journey. David, thank you again for being here
and answering all of our questions. Thank you for having me. Of course, and thank all of you for
being here and tuning in to the conversation. We’d love you get more feedback,
it’s been so valuable So down there, leave some more. Thank you. And if you’d like
to hear more conversations like this don’t forget to subscribe. See ya!

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