Stepping up its game against YouTube, Facebook has announced that it will start testing offline videos in India starting from July 11. The feature will be first made available to only a “small group of people”.
Facebook revealed its plans in an email sent to select media partners in India. So it is expected the small group of people will be media houses and their subscribers only. According to a report by NDTV, the email states that the participants will be able to download videos to their Facebook app while online and those videos can be watched any time, offline or online.
“We take content security very seriously, so downloaded content will be stored in the Facebook application alone and will not be available to share or view in other applications,” the email reads.
Facebook will also give publishers freedom to opt out at page level. This means if a publisher opts out any video will not be available to download.
YouTube had launched offline video availability feature in 2014 in India considering the slow internet speed in the country. YouTube’s offline videos can be accessed only for 48 hours from downloading, however, Facebook hasn’t hinted at any such restriction so far.
Video streaming service has become an important asset for Facebook recently. The company has added new features and services to Facebook videos along with expanding its Facebook Live video streaming service. In January this year Facebook recorded over 100 million hours of videos watched on its app and website. And India has become its one of the most important consumer bases with over 70 million daily active users.
To face the rival Facebook, which is getting increasingly stronger, YouTube recently announced “download in night” feature. The update on Android app lets a user download videos in night at subsidized data charges. For example if you subscribe to the feature and then use 100mb after midnight on Airtel, the company credits 50mb back after a few hours.