Facebook doesn’t want you to waste your mobile data plan just to keep watching its videos. Therefore, FB is testing Instant Videos feature that downloads and caches videos to your smartphone while you’re on WiFi, allowing you to watch them later on the go for free. You will see lightning bolt icons on pre-loaded Facebook instant videos.
This new feature is much similar to Instant Articles that make use of FB’s hosted content format, loading faster than mobile websites so users don’t drop off while waiting for a publisher’s articles to load. Since videos load even slower than web pages, publishers might be eager to get engaged to make sure maximum viewability for their clips.
The Instant Videos feature could also benefit Facebook’s Watch tab of original video content, letting it cache episodes so users could watch them on a bus or somewhere else where they might not have a reliable or strong WiFi connection.
The Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur confirms that Facebook instant videos test is only available to a small percentage of Android users. Basically, the company’s goal is to remove data costs as a barrier to watch its videos.
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Earlier, Facebook has endeavored to customize its service for different bandwidth and data prizes by re-ranking News Feed to prioritize low full-size content while downranking videos if your Internet connection is slow.
Although Instant Articles has mostly put emphasis on the speed and convenience of reading news, Facebook instant videos are intended for the cost and accessibility. It could make the feature a major boon to the company’s efforts in the ever-evolving world.
In case the social media network wants to lead the market, it must whole-heartedly embrace videos, which can bring more vivid entertainment and interpersonal connection than text or photos.
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Videos also include lucrative advertisements that are closer to the TV commercials. Getting people familiar to watch organic videos can make them more interested to watch video ads. Moreover, Facebook is starting to enable publishers and video creators to insert video ad breaks into the middle of their clips. This Facebook update could possibly include these ad breaks.
By testing Facebook instant videos on Android, the company is laying the groundwork for both serving the developing world where iPhones are rare as well as more budget-conscious teens. Consolidating forward-thinking accessibility together with its engineering proficiency and ubiquity, Facebook could excel beyond Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and other competitors.