Facebook is making it easier for consumers to stream videos without eating up their data plans. As such, the social media network is currently testing a feature it calls Instant Videos that downloads and caches videos to a user’s phone when a WiFi connection is present. That means, users can view them later without tapping their mobile data.
If that sounds familiar that is because Facebook has already rolled out a similar feature for written content and images – Instant Articles. This is also in line with efforts to ensure a smoother mobile performance.
Instant Videos are identifiable via a little lighting bold icon. Tests are currently restricted to a select few Android users. However, it appears that the overall aim is to boost Facebook usage by taking away any obstacles such as costly data. It could also boost viewing of videos on Facebook’s new Watch tab, which began rolling out in the US in August 2017.
Ultimately, it’s all about usage – the more users Facebook retains and entertains, the more advertisers the network can attract.
Indeed, video adverts can be more lucrative than standard display or banner ads. That is something TV advertisers have known for many years. By driving adoption of digital videos on mobile devices, Facebook is already gearing up to become the advertising network of the future.
Indeed, the company has launched video adverts in the middle of clips. It charges a whopping 45% for the service in revenue from the content. Naturally, Instant Videos are likely to feature some form of advertising in the near future.
Whilst this all sounds like just another money-boosting innovation, Instant Articles and Videos have seriously positive implications for people in the developing world where data plans are unaffordable and networks can be unstable.