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Facebook is testing a new mobile app feature called Instant Videos that downloads video clips for later viewing whenever a user's phone is connected to Wi-Fi, to save from burning through their mobile data plan.

First spotted by The Next Web's Matt Navarra and later confirmed by TechCrunch, the feature will identify pre-loaded and cached videos in the news feed with a lightning bolt icon so that users know they can watch them for free while on the go.

facebook-instant-videos.jpg
Facebook Instant Videos coming soon? ? h/t Devesh Logendran pic.twitter.com/rNZYkbeL2r - Matt Navarra ? (@MattNavarra) September 11, 2017

The Instant Video feature is in a similar vein to Facebook's Instant Articles, the hosted content format that loads much faster than mobile websites and negates the need to wait for a separate web app to load the content. Likewise, publishers could see the new feature as a way to get their video clips maximum exposure on the social network.

The feature could also benefit Facebook's own original content push, with video organized under the new Watch tab, allowing users to cache episodes for viewing on their daily commute.

According to TechCrunch, the Instant Video test is currently only available to a small number of Android users, as the company lays the groundwork for more budget-conscious users in the developing world. But it's likely the feature will eventually make its way over to Facebook's iPhone app if the mini rollout is deemed successful.

Article Link: Facebook Testing Pre-Loaded 'Instant Videos'
 

jhfenton

macrumors 65816
Dec 11, 2012
1,132
744
Cincinnati, Ohio
Just No.

Facebook app is already one of the worst for ballooning cache size with no way of clearing it (other than un/reinstall app).
Agreed. Between that and the battery-sucking performance, I long ago deleted the Facebook app from my phone and replaced it with a saved Safari web link. On the rare occasion, I need to check Facebook on my phone, I just use the web link.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,050
so instead they'll burn through ISP data caps :p

ISP data caps are far far far higher than those of mobile providers. Even the unlimited plans of most mobile providers cap things around 25GB/month. With Comcast capping things at 1TB/mon, mobile providers have a cap just 2.4% of what they offer.

If your phone is gonna download it either way, why not do so from a source that allows far more data?
 

thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,427
5,179
known but velocity indeterminate
ISP data caps are far far far higher than those of mobile providers. Even the unlimited plans of most mobile providers cap things around 25GB/month. With Comcast capping things at 1TB/mon, mobile providers have a cap just 2.4% of what they offer.

If your phone is gonna download it either way, why not do so from a source that allows far more data?

I'm well aware, I was being sarcastic. In any case it doesn't affect me as I'm one of those edgy hipsters* who is too cool** to have a Facebook account. :)

*not really edgy or a hipster
** or that cool if I'm being honest
 
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4jasontv

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2011
4,988
5,926
Me: Why can't I watch this video I want to see?
Facebook: We are downloading videos you didn't ask for and will only see the first few seconds of because we autoplay them when you scroll past.

Me: Why can't I download this app update?
Facebook: We used all your storage saving videos you didn't want to watch.

Me: Why can't I watch this video you autodownload to my phone?
Facebook: Sorry, we we busy putting bee's in your car.
 

bb_referee

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2017
1
0
Agree with everyone here... I HATE VIDEOS ON FACEBOOK! And the app is bloatware anyway. But, I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority of Facebook users. My spouse watches so many of those dumb videos...
 
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