Facebook is betting big on video and as such is testing a feature that should make it easier for folks to watch content.
That feature is Instant Videos, which will download videos while you’re connected to a Wifi network so that you can watch them while you’re out and about.
The social network confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature was real but was only made available to “a small percentage of Android users”.
So why is Facebook downloading videos that you might not need?
Well it’s worth remembering that Facebook recently launched Watch – its own YouTube-esque video platform. Beyond that advertisers might be more eager to take up video marketing if users actually watch their videos.
In addition, having videos download in the background might make users more prone to watching videos on Facebook due to the fact that they aren’t using their mobile data.
For Facebook to compete with a service like YouTube it needs to attract users and this is a rather clever way of doing that.
The trade-off with Instant Video however is that storage space on your handset may now be taken up by videos that you might not want to watch at all.
Of course this feature is not being rolled out to the masses at the moment and we may never have to deal with storage space woes.
With that having been said I would prefer having a bunch of videos I won’t watch downloaded on the office Wifi than using my mobile data to download them as I scroll through my timeline.
[Image – CC BY 2.0 Mambembe Arts & Crafts]