Facebook Testing Offline Video in India

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Facebook plans to test a new video download option in India.

Starting Monday, a small percentage of users in the country can save videos via Wi-Fi to their mobile device for offline viewing. The feature applies only to original videos posted on personal profiles or Pages, and will not work for advertisements.

In an effort to curb piracy, all synced content is stored directly in the Facebook app; it's unavailable to share or view in other programs. Still, wary publishers can opt out: Visit Settings > Content Distribution > Prohibit downloading to Facebook.

The news was announced in an email to publishers. "In markets like India, mobile data and connectivity are limited, which can leave people with poor video experiences or no streaming ability at all," the company said. "We want to make the video experience on Facebook great for people in all parts of the world."

Last year, Facebook tested several changes intended to provide a smoother News Feed experience when people were on slow or spotty connections, fetching the most important content first. A year ago, it also rolled out the Facebook Lite Android app, which consumes less data and works well across all network conditions.

Facebook's latest video move comes nearly two years after Google made YouTube available offline in India, allowing Android and iOS users to save videos to their device for later.

Despite a recent scuffle in India over Free Basics Internet service, Facebook continues working with underdeveloped countries to bring connectivity to everyone. On Wednesday, it announced OpenCellular, a project to build small cellular access points to support everything from 2G to LTE.

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