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Summary:

Facebook just announced a major upgrade to its year-and-a-half-old video application. The site will now play videos of quality up to 720p, though it has a file size limit of 1 GB and time limit of 20 minutes. Videos will be embeddable (but not in HD) […]

Facebook just announced a major upgrade to its year-and-a-half-old video application. The site will now play videos of quality up to 720p, though it has a file size limit of 1 GB and time limit of 20 minutes. Videos will be embeddable (but not in HD) on blogs and other websites.

Embedded above: A video of my puppy from earlier this year. Definitely not in HD but it’s what I have at the moment, since it doesn’t look like you can embed other people’s videos, only your own.

This is no tiny (or cheap) little operation. The site sees 100,000 videos uploads per day and hosts 45 million total videos, according to Facebook engineer Chris Putnam, who announced the feature in a blog post.

Videos are not as tightly integrated into the Facebook platform as photos. Facebook Video was launched as a test application on Facebook’s platform after being built by employees at a hackathon. As far as I know, users must still elect to install the application — though it looks like all but two of my Facebook friends have it installed. Photos, on the other hand, appear by default on every profile.

Facebook has strictly maintained that its video service is for personal sharing, and previously videos were only viewable within the site itself. In that vein, Facebook privacy features will travel with the newly embeddable videos. If users doesn’t make their videos public, they can limit viewing to a certain group of friends who must be currently logged into their Facebook accounts to watch the video. And there’s not even a search function within Facebook Video.

Coincidentally, YouTube also went HD today for videos that are high enough quality.

See below an interview with Putnam by Robert Scoble.

  1. Facebook needs to have a status bar for uploading, when you are uploading large files (which you need for HD), you can’t tell how long it’s going to take.

    Youtube also needs this feature as well.

    I think websites should take a cue from Vimeo, it has one of the cleanest and best uploading interfaces.

  2. Cute video

  3. I was able to embed one one of my own videos on my blog. It looks like HD to me:

    Facebook : White Squirrel at Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, MA (HD)
    http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/2008/12/facebook-white-squirrel-at-jamaica-pond.html

    I was only able to embed someone else’s video by installing a Greasemonkey script in Firefox:

    Christmas Time Is Here from A Charlie Brown Christmas by Graham English
    http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-time-is-here-from-charlie.html

    As you note, there is no embed code available on someone else’s video.

    The Facebook blog says:

    “You’ll also be able to take videos you’ve added to Facebook and embed them on other websites.”

    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?blog_id=company

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  6. That’s too bad, just came back to this post and realized that my privacy settings have somehow changed to block this video. Not my doing!

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