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Facebook will soon launch offline video viewing, starting with India

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As Facebook takes on video streaming domain head on, it is now shifting its focus to make videos more accessible, to those in emerging markets — specially in India. And why wouldn’t it. India has the largest number of people hooked on to the social media behemoth outside the US.

Thus, in a move similar to YouTube’s, Facebook is now gearing up to bring in offline viewing to videos hosted on its platform.

Sluggish data connection speeds and constant video buffering prods users to scroll ahead and skip the video content — pretty much the reason why YouTube initially came up with this feature. And to counter that Facebook, is now planning to test a video download option for a small percentage of users in India. The feature is expected to make a debut on July 11th.


According to an email spotted by TechCrunch (image above), the social media giant has quietly sent out a message to publishers, detailing the opportunities such a feature brings for their audience. Using the video download feature, users will soon be able to download videos posted by users on their personal profile or Pages over Wi-Fi. You can then easily view it online or offline, on the account of your own pleasure.

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.

And to combat the issues of Privacy, the downloaded videos — just like YouTube — will be stored right within the Facebook application, instead of the phone’s local storage. This will prevent the mass distribution and piracy of the publisher’s content without their permission.

If you’re still too concerned about video privacy, Facebook is also allowing publishers to ‘opt-out’ of the feature to prevent users from downloading videos from their Page. The opt-out option is available under the Content Distribution Setting. The company is also expanding its Live Video capabilities by adding the option to remotely end a live broadcast and see user analytics.

With laying much focus on video content distribution on its platform, Facebook is investing in making its services available to more users in developing nations. Due to non-availability of technology and infrastructure, the company has been pushing stripped down versions of its core app — Facebook Lite. It has also launched the Free Basics application — which lets user access some websites and apps for free — in multiple countries, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

To boost data connectivity in under-developed and developing nations, Facebook is also working on deploying large solar-powered drones and affordable antennas. They will hover in the Stratosphere of the atmosphere for about 6 months, and provide Internet connectivity to rural areas for free.

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