Facebook Tests Video Features That Rival YouTube

Abby Deardorff Contributor
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Facebook is testing out new video features in what many see as a way of challenging YouTube’s video dominance.

One trial feature is a new “Videos” section, where users can save favorite videos and see suggested videos from friends. It’s also testing allowing users to make a video smaller while interacting with the rest of the site.

It rivals the model currently used by Google’s YouTube by superimposing a small video screen over the current feed. Users can slide the video to one corner to keep using the site while watching.

In a press release Tuesday, Facebook executive Will Cathcart announced its project to test different ways users can experience video. The company is hoping this will draw in users through a more video-centric platform.

“We have been testing a number of new features that give people more flexibility when watching videos, whether you’re watching a video in News Feed on-the-go or sitting down to enjoy multiple videos back-to-back,” Cathcart said.

BBC reported that among the new features, users watching a video users can swipe upwards to switch to a different clip. Only suggested videos are accessible now, but a spokeswoman said a search function may be available in the future.

In addition, the company has made a new section that lets users save their favorite clips. The bookmarked videos are compiled together for you to watch later.

This isn’t the first major change we’ve seen from Facebook recently. In early August, the company announced a new live video experience. The caveat is that this feature is only available through a Facebook Mentions account, which requires possession of a verified Facebook account.

Popular public figures with this access are able to share and stream video directly from their accounts. All users can watch live broadcasts from these accounts, or re-watch the video on the person’s page later.

Forbes did not find these changes to be a huge threat to YouTube.

While the demand for video grows quickly, only a small portion of videos are uploaded Facebook directly. This rivals the 70 percent of videos uploaded to YouTube, and they continue to dominate the video market.