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Facebook Introduces 4K Ultra High Definition Video

It’s been a long time in the making, but Facebook now supports 4K video. Up until now, users have been restricted to using lower resolutions. But given the widespread popularity surrounding 4K, it was only a matter of time before Facebook jumped on the bandwagon.

The Growing Trend of 4K Video

YouTube has supported 4K video since 2010. Back then, however, there wasn’t much demand for it. With smartphones, tablets and computer monitors becoming more advanced, however, more and more people are now watching 4K videos. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the difference in picture quality between 4K and traditional 1080p.

While not technically 4,000 pixels, 4K resolution boasts an impressive resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. In comparison, its 1080p counterpart features a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. Long story short, it’s a substantial difference in quality that’s more than noticeable to the naked eye. Whether you’re watching a movie, TV show, commercial, etc., 4K offers the very best picture quality — and that’s why it’s becoming such a popular standard.

There are actually three different types of 4K resolution standards.

  1. UHD: this is the standard 4K resolution that uses 3840 x 2160 pixels at either a 16:9 or 1:78:1 aspect ratio. It’s commonly used in televisions, computer monitors, smartphones, video game consoles and other devices. UHD is also the standard that Facebook is now supporting.
  2. UW4K: this is the ultra-wide variant of 4K resolution. It uses 3840 x 1600 pixels with an aspect ratio of 12:5. It’s generally used on 4K Blu-ray discs.
  3. DCI 4K: typically used for film and video production, DCI 4K boasts a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels with a 1:9:1 aspect ratio. As a result, it has twice the horizontal and vertical resolution as its DCI 2K predecessor.

Facebook’s 4K Video: What You Should Know

Facebook has also used 4K video in the past, but only for its live-streaming 360 videos. If users wanted to upload or watch a traditional video, they were forced to use a lower resolution. As explained by TechCrunch, though, Facebook is currently testing 4K ultra-high-definition video among select users. The new video format supports the 2160p UHD-1 standard, which some users may notice in their account.

So, why did Facebook decide to support 4K video after all of these years? For starters, there’s a growing demand for the UHD standard simply because it offers the highest picture quality. However, market analysts believe this move could also bolster Facebook’s original videos.

Facebook has announced plans to compete with Netflix and Hulu by launching a “Watch” section for original videos. Here, publishers can create and upload unique videos. Of course, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video service providers already offer 4K resolution. If Facebook plans to compete with them, it also needs to support 4K.

Making the jump from 720p to 4K doesn’t come without its own hurdles for its Facebook. Conventional wisdom should tell you that 4K videos have a larger file size, meaning they’ll require more bandwidth and storage space to upload. An hour-long video recorded in 720p, for instance, may only be 10 to 20 GB, a 4K video of that same length could take up 80 GB. With Facebook planning to support 4K video, it will have to account for these new bandwidth and storage requirements. Of course, this can also affect Facebook’s users, who will now need faster Internet connections and more local storage space for their 4K videos.

What This Means for Marketers

The introduction of 4K video in Facebook indicates a new marketing opportunity for business owners. Rather than using low-resolution video in their digital marketing efforts, business owners can now use UHD 4K video; thus, allowing them to create better quality, more visually engaging videos. When uploaded to Facebook, users can still watch the video on a lower resolution. However, they’ll also have the option of watching in it 4K thanks to Facebook’s latest adoption of this video standard.

How to See if 4K Is Available in Your Facebook Account

You can check to see if 4K video is available in your Facebook account by clicking the gear-shaped icon on a video. Here, you’ll see a list of supported resolutions. If your account supports 4K, it should have 2160p as an available option. Clicking this option will automatically format the video for 4K resolution.

If you aren’t able to watch 4K videos on Facebook, try not to panic. The social media giant is still in the early stages of rolling out this feature, so it’s not available to all users. According to TechCrunch,some Pages and profiles can upload and watch 4K video, whereas others cannot. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that Facebook will push this feature to all accounts within the next few months. There’s no official word on when 4K video will become publicly available to all accounts, though it appears that Facebook is in the final stages of the process. So, be patient and keep checking your account until you see it available.



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