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Facebook imitates YouTube; to test offline video feature in India

Mumbai: Streaming a video online is probably one of the biggest predicaments faced by users, especially in developing countries where internet data packs are not only costly but also sluggish.

To bridge this gap, Google’s YouTube had started offline video feature a couple of years, allowing users to download or sync videos to watch later. Following its footsteps, social media giant Facebook is also planning to test a similar feature in India starting July 11.

According to technology website TechCrunch, the new feature will help users in India, which has the slowest average Internet connection among APAC countries, by allowing them to download videos using Wi-Fi and view it offline on its app later on.

This news comes as a good development for video publishers, who were previously ticked off by Facebook’s new News Feed rules that now lists content posted family and friends above people who create content. As per the social networking giant, this new feature will act as a stimulus to people who otherwise skip unnecessary videos on their news feed.

However, there is a catch. Facebook is also completely aware of the fact that the vast social media space is filled with piracy-mongers who would take advantage of offline video sharing for their own benefits. To curb individuals with such intentions, it will securely lock the videos within its app and it won’t be stored in the device’s local memory even after downloading.

Moreover, the publishers also have the option to opt out of the feature by disabling the downloading option from their page’s Content Distribution setting. Well, that wouldn’t matter too much as people will only be able to post original videos on their personal accounts or pages.

In a email to TechCrunch, Facebook Said: “We’ve heard feedback that in markets like India, mobile data and internet connectivity is limited and many people struggle with poor video experiences. So we’re testing an option for people to download videos to Facebook while they’re online on good internet connections, to view the video at anytime, online or offline, without using extra mobile data.”

To put matters to perspective, videos are becoming a prominent part of social media and it has now become an imperative to showcase them with the inception of better video technologies. Earlier, the company had introduced Facebook Live—a video live streaming feature which has gained immense popularity among users.

While the offline video viewing feature will be a great development for users in India and other developing countries, it will also help the company push lucrative video ads in future.

Source: DH

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