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Facebook tests pre-loaded 'Instant Videos'

Facebook tests pre-loaded 'Instant Videos'
From TechCrunch - September 11, 2017

Facebook doesnt want you to burn through your mobile data plan just to keep watching its videos. Thats why its testing a new feature called Instant Videos that downloads and caches Facebook videos to your phone while youre on Wi-Fi so you can watch them later on the go for free. Users will see lightning bolt icons on pre-loaded videos.

The Instant Video feature is reminiscent of Instant Articles, Facebooks hosted content format that loads much faster than mobile websites so users dont drop off waiting for a publishers articles to appear. Because videos load even slower than web pages, publishers might be keen to get involved to ensure maximum viewability for their clips.

The feature could also benefit Facebooks new Watch tab of original video content, allowing it to cache episodes so people could watch them on a train or elsewhere that they might not have a strong connection or want to use up their data plan watching longer-form videos.

Facebook confirms to TechCrunch that the Instant Video test is available to a small percentage of Android users. A screenshot of Instant Videos was first shared by Devesh Logendran using a pseudonym to TNWs director of social media Matt Navarra. Now weve confirmed with Facebook that the goal is to remove data costs as a barrier to watching its videos.

Previously, Facebook has tried to adapt its service for differing bandwidth and data prices by re-ranking News Feed to prioritize low file-size contentwhile downranking videos if youre on a slow connection, or replaying stories youd already seen.

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