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Facebook Will Test Video Downloads For Offline Watching In India

July 6, 2016, 7:40 PM UTC
Photograph by AP

Facebook wants to help users in countries with spotty wireless infrastructure watch videos more easily.

The social network will reportedly give some users in India the ability to download videos over Wi-Fi so they can watch them later online or offline, according TechCrunch, citing an email from from Facebook to publishers like news outlets using its service. Users will be able to download videos posted by other users on their personal profiles or by brands posted on their Facebook Pages.

To combat piracy, the videos will be stored within Facebook’s app, so users can’t distribute them more widely without permission. The company is also giving publishers the option to opt out of the feature through their Facebook Page’s settings.

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“In markets like India, mobile data and connectivity are limited, which can leave people with poor video experiences or no streaming ability at all. We want to make the video experience on Facebook great for people in all parts of the world,” Facebook wrote in the email that TechCrunch published.

Facebook has been heavily investing in making its service accessible to users in developing markets where technology and infrastructure isn’t readily available. Last year it released a stripped down version of its app, called Facebook Lite, and it has worked on similar apps in the past. The company’s controversial Free Basics app, available now in several countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, lets users access a limited number of apps and websites for free via partnerships with local telecom carriers. Facebook is also developing hardware technology it hopes will help build out the infrastructure in those countries.

The video download test will start on July 11.