Facebook is testing a feature that will enable its users to watch videos without burning through their mobile data.
The Instant Videos feature downloads and caches Facebook videos to the user’s phone, while they’re on wi-fi, so they can watch videos when on-the-go without needing to use their data.
The feature, which Facebook confirmed it was testing with a small number of Android users to TechCrunch, comes in a similar ilk to Instant Articles. These articles are hosted by Facebook and load faster than mobile websites, preventing drop off during loading time.
The introduction of Instant Videos could also be of great benefit to the social network’s new Watch video service, which offers users original content from the likes of BuzzFeed, ATTN, Disney’s ABC, and more. It would enable users to catch up with shows on the service wherever they are, and make the offering slightly more appealing than it currently is.
Facebook has been working in recent months to improve its mobile offering for those with different connectivity and data plans. Last month, Facebook began rolling out an algorithm that prioritises stories that load more quickly on mobile over those that load slower. The algorithm takes into account estimated load time of a link based on the general speed of the webpage and the user’s current network connectivity.