Facebook is the Latest to Throttle Video Streaming in Europe

It joins Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Disney+

Why This Matters

Limiting bandwidth for streaming video will help the network from buckling under the strain of so many home users accessing videos while they shelter in place.

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As reported by the BBC, Facebook joins a list of streaming video providers like Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Disney+ in curtailing the vast amounts of data required by high definition, high bitrate video content.

What this will affect: While this throttling of video content is only in Europe for now, it will likely make sense here in the U.S. sooner, rather than later. Keeping our networks healthy is increasingly important for our financial, mental, and social health.

How does this work? While the data used will be less, it's entirely possible users won't see much difference in the quality of the videos they stream. Some services, like YouTube, will switch users to lower-definition resolution (they can always switch back if they want), but most, like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Netflix, will only lower the bitrates, while keeping resolutions as is. Netflix says that European customers will use 25 percent less data this way.

When: Facebook's changes should roll out over the next few days, says the BBC, and will apply to Instagram video as well.

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