Facebook Testing Offline Video Capabilities

Tech Crunch
Facebook and other social media services often have to roll out special exceptions and features to allow users in poorer countries to really be able to enjoy their app. Video is something in particular that people often can't afford to view online regularly due to data charges so now Facebook are emulating YouTube and are allowing Indian users among others to download videos to watch offline later.

This feature will be for Facebook only and any videos users download will still be watched in the app. You won't be able to save the video and upload it elsewhere, all you'll be able to do is watch the video even if you have no internet. This still means that users won't easily be able to watch streams during, but they should be able to watch them after they've finished. However, not every publisher may be willing to allow you to download their videos. Even without the worry of you uploading it elsewhere, some publishers might just only want people streaming their videos. If users want to stop people from downloading their videos they can do so by checking the prohibit downloading to Facebook option on their page's Content Distribution page. This might mean that you might not be able to download all the videos you want but I doubt many publishers will do this.

If someone wants to download a video, then they can whilst they're on wi-fi and then watch it later. At the moment there isn't anything like with YouTube that will allow you to automatically download the videos if you only have data so users may have to stay up late to download videos if they do only have wi-fi. One step at a time though and this will help introduce users in poorer countries to Facebook Live. You can assume they'll have other things planned as they'll want users there streaming as well, but they need to get people interested in video first. Facebook are still pretty new to video and aside from the random videos that have already been popping up in people's feeds for years, users are still going to need reminding that they can watch video as well as the fact they can record it.

On July 11th this feature was rolled out to a few users spread across India.

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