Google announced a major update to its mobile search results pages today. Whenever your query brings up a video, Google will now show you a silent six-second clip to help you decide if it’s actually a video you want to see. This will work for the vast majority of videos on the web today, including, but not limited to YouTube.
Even though video is getting more and more popular, it’s no secret that it’s not always the most convenient way to get information. A thumbnail isn’t going to give you a lot of information about what the actual video is going to look like. Google’s new feature will remove at least some of this ambiguity so you know that you won’t be wasting time on some boring video, when you’re looking for the real thing.
Unsurprisingly, Google decided to use some of its machine learning smarts to enable this feature. That’s because the first six seconds of any given video aren’t usually the most representative ones. So Google’s algorithm actually analyzes the whole video and then decides which six-second clip to pick. It’s worth noting that these previews do not feature any ads and by default, they will only play when you are using a WiFi connection.
If you want, you can enable video previews on mobile networks, too, or even completely opt out of them in the settings for both the Google app and Google Chrome for Android.