In a move that could be read as a direct challenge to YouTube’s dominance as an online video content repository, Facebook today acquired the San Diego based video-compression technology company, QuickFire Networks.
QuickFire essentially converts online video content into downloadable content of lesser size without compromising on the video quality. QuickFire’s founder Craig Lee stated that his company was founded on the premise that the current internet infrastructure is inadequate to support the massive consumption of online video content, that is set to only grow exponentially as more and more digital natives get added.
This latest acquisition into Facebook’s stable of tech companies ties in neatly with other related news from Facebook, after it announced a record 1 billion video views per day. Also, Facebook had announced that the number of video posts per user has grown over 75 percent globally. Facebook also revealed that at least 50% of its users in America watch at least one video per day.
In November 2014, it was reported by social media data tracking service, Socialbakers, that the number of videos uploaded directly to Facebook overtook those uploaded to YouTube and then shared on Facebook. Also, users find it difficult to download YouTube content, whereas Facebook now with QuickFire’s technology will enable users of slower bandwidths to benefit from such an acquisition. With YouTube’s dominance that went on unchallenged, Facebook has now found a novel way to retain its users on its own platform for video consumption.
Thus the picture is getting clearer now. Facebook is restless and is keen to displace YouTube as the favored destination for uploading, viewing and sharing of videos. This intent is further strengthened by certain few steps that Facebook recently included in its website algorithm to make the site more video friendly. Now view counts are visible in Facebook videos and it helps gauge content popularity.
Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm has been tweaked to make natively hosted video content more visible on other’s Newsfeed as opposed to content from any other video site. This means that your video uploaded on Facebook will appear on your friend’s Newsfeed more frequently as compared to videos from external sites that are shared on Facebook.
Facebook’s developing world angle: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had very recently met the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi in the month of October, 2014. That meeting hovered around how the social network could contribute to the Govt. of India’s digital plans. It is evident that Zuckerberg wants to be there first, when the broadband networks boom in the developing world. QuickFire’s compression technology which allows the consumption of more videos, even on a slower bandwidth is set to open up major new markets in the developing world for Facebook.
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