Facebook and T-Mobile U.S. are working together to let the social media giant join Binge On, a program that allows T-Mobile consumers to watch mobile video from partner services without using their data plan. Citing unnamed sources, Re/code says this move has been in the works for a while. It must be noted that the move comes amid the increasing focus on video at the social networking giant.
Unlimited streams in less-than-HD quality
According to the report, the social networking giant and T-Mobile have been working for some time to add Facebook Video to the list of services that T-Mobile supports. Customers agree to view video sent over the cellular network in less-than-HD quality in exchange for unlimited streaming through Binge On.
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T-Mobile requires some technical work on the part of video services, even when it has been open to including all interested parties in Binge On. It does this to make sure the video streams are identified by T-Mobile’s system. The work is still in progress with the social media giant, the report said.
When T-Mobile introduced Binge On last year, HBO, ESPN and Netflix were among the services that were part of it. Since then, it has added other video services and made it simpler for consumers to choose not to take part in Binge On. In March, YouTube was added, leaving Facebook and Snapchat as two noticeable missing players.
Benefits for Facebook to join Binge On
Facebook puts a growing emphasis on video, and this moves comes just in time. T-Mobile users will be encouraged to watch more video if they are allowed to see the video without thinking about data caps. Also if the social media giant is not part of the service, customers would be encouraged to watch video from the competing services that are part of Binge On.
Another advantage for the social media giant to join Binge On is that the move might assuage critics in India and other countries who opposed Facebook’s Free Basics program. The notion of offering some of the internet for free has brought anger from many net neutrality advocates. This move of giving Facebook video for free might give the social networking site something similar.
In addition, the report says both the social media giant and T-Mobile are exploring whether some version of the Free Basics approach makes sense in the U.S. In March, a few T-Mobile users noticed a strange “Free Data” message inside the Facebook app, but nothing ever came of it, or not publicly, anyway.