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To Prevent The Internet From Crashing, Facebook Reduces Its Video Streaming Quality

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Facebook is following moves from other streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon to reduce its video quality in Europe. The move is in order to reduce demand on internet service providers.


The demand for streaming in Europe has increased drastically. This is because a lot of people are self-isolating at home due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.


Therefore, video streaming on Facebook will use lesser data. But, viewers might not see a major change in picture quality.


Facebook says the change is to apply to both its main social networking site and Instagram.


“To help alleviate any potential network congestion during the #COVID19 crisis, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in Europe,” a spokesperson for Facebook says.


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Disney to shrink bandwidth for Disney+

Disney also will follow suit by shrinking the bandwidth of its streaming service, Disney+, uses. The service is due to launch in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland this week. It, however, has delayed the launch in France at the request of the French government.


The company also had to postpone the launch of Disney+ in India. This was because the Indian Premier League cricket which is its major attraction was rescheduled due to the spread of coronavirus.


“We will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with Internet service providers to further reduce bitrates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand,” Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer division, said in a statement.


Disney plans to reduce its bandwidth utilisation by at least 25% in Europe.


Bitrates influences how smooth videos look when streamed online. Videos with a higher bitrate look less pixelated, however, they use more data.


The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, had previously advised that internet users “switch to standard definition when HD [high-definition] is not necessary”.


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