Facebook is one of the largest video hosting websites on today's Internet and while YouTube is without doubt the uncrowned king of recorded videos today, it is catching up fast and benefiting from bad marketing decisions by YouTube's management.
One reason why Facebook has not surpassed YouTube yet is that its monetization offerings for content creators are sub-par when compared to YouTube.
Facebook users may upload and watch videos on the site. The availability depends largely on a user's circle of friends though. I have not seen a single video in a while for instance that was uploaded to Facebook natively.
Videos that you play on Facebook are played in SD quality by default. While you can switch the quality to HD in the video player interface, provided that the source was in HD quality, you may want to set HD as the permanent option on Facebook. Alternatively, you can set SD as the only available option as well.
Note: The option to do so is only available on Facebook's web version and not in Facebook Lite or the regular Facebook mobile application.
The easiest way to set a video quality preference on Facebook is the following:
- Load https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=videos in your browser of choice. If you are logged in already on Facebook, you should be taken directly to the video settings. If not, you are asked to sign in first.
- Click on the default button next to "video default quality" and select "sd only" if you want only low quality video playback or "HD if available" if you want high definition videos to be loaded whenever available.
Note: The selection impacts two factors. First, the bandwidth required to play videos on Facebook as SD videos use considerable less data than HD videos. Second, the resources required to play videos. You may notice slow downs or other issues if you play HD videos on older computers.
Facebook Lite, one of the mobile apps that Facebook makes available for use on mobile devices, does not seem to support videos at all. When you try to open videos in it you only get stills but no option to play them at all using the application.
The regular Facebook app for mobile devices supports video playback and displays an HD icon in the player interface when video supports it, but the app itself does not support video settings currently. This means that you cannot modify the preferences in the app to prioritize HD videos when available.