Facebook, Instagram reduce video quality in Europe

London, March 23 (IANS) After Netflix and YouTube, Facebook and Instagram have lowered their video quality in Europe as streaming surge.

Facebook and Instagram will “temporarily reduce” video bitrates in Europe to help partners handle Internet “bandwidth constraints” as more people stay at home amid the growing new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports Engadget.

“To help alleviate any potential network congestion, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in Europe,” the social media platform said in a statement.

“We are committed to working with our partners to manage any bandwidth constraints during this period of heavy demand, while also ensuring people are able to remain connected using Facebook apps and services during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Facebook has over 300 million daily users in Europe.

Amazon as well as Apple have also announced they will reduce streaming quality in Europe in order to lessen the load on broadband network.

In India, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms to ensure smooth video streaming across the country as people are staying indoors and taking to work-from-home amid the coronavirus crisis.

The industry body has also written a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) urging the government to issue advisories to the players concerned on this issue.

The COAI further said that there are various measures that the streaming platform companies can undertake in the current situation.

One such measure is temporarily moving to SD (Standard Definition) rather than HD (High Definition) streaming, it said, adding that there may be other such technical measures that may be taken to ease the pressure on infrastructure.

In its letter to the DoT, COAI has also given a list of the OTT platforms active in India – Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Hotstar, Zee5, Alt Balaji, Voot, Sony Liv, Viuclip, Hoichoi, Netflix and SunNXT.


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