By Aglaia Staff
Facebook Inc. is piloting a fea ture in India allowing users to save videos to watch offline, chasing a similar program from Google‘s YouTube, as the companies attempt to crack a market ridden with poor internet connectivity
The move followed feedback from users citing poor video experiences because of limited mobile coverage, Facebook said in a statement. “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,” the company said.
YouTube introduced offline video in 2014. Despite the cost of downloads, an estimated 40% of data consumption on phone networks is video, said Nikhil Pahwa, editor of Medianama.com, which monitors news on the digital industry.
“This will only keep going up,” he said, “Video is the format of the future in a country where people devour videos everywhere –at work, on the streets and in their homes; it offers the next big revenue opportunity for platforms like Google and Facebook.”
Facebook, which has 142 million users in India, will allow only original videos posted on personal Facebook accounts and its pages to be downloaded. The program is being tested on a small percentage of Indian users, the company said without providing details on broader rollout.