Why are video downloader add-ons so popular?

Bill Selman wselman at mozilla.com
Tue Jun 9 21:26:00 UTC 2015


To offer some additional insight based on user research we conducted in SE Asia in 2013…These explanations are accurate for most Western and emerged markets, but not other places in the world.

It’s not just there are streaming or buffering problems in places like Indonesia or Thailand. Rather, Internet connectivity for most users in those markets (then, wired home connections were ~ 3-4% of the population in Indonesia) is painfully slow and unstable. The participants we interviewed were familiar with these downloading add-ons in Firefox. They used these add-ons so that could watch videos from youtube offline because that was the only way to watch videos from video sites. Given connection speeds, streaming isn’t possible, so they download videos to watch them. 

While porn might be the case in some countries, in Indonesia pornography is illegal and blocked by ISPs by government order. Sure, you can circumvent those blocks, but most users won’t or don’t know how.

+++++
Bill Selman
Lead UX Researcher
Mozilla Corporation
irc: wselman

> On Jun 9, 2015, at 1:26 PM, Chris Hofmann <chofmann at mozilla.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> there is probably an element of user education as part of this investigation and fix.
> 
> I'm guessing a lot of this video download content is porn, and there might be quite
> a bit of phishing going on with offers to "get these videos faster/safer/etc... 
> with our special video downloading sofware..."  
> 
> the special video downloading software doesn't actually have to do anything
> better, but the user thinks they might be getting additional value.
> 
> once the user buys into that its easy to get extra software on their system
> that can be monetized in several different ways, with adware, malware,
> etc..
> 
> An independent research study with lots of press around if all these downloaders
> are actually helpful in improving performance might be the place to start.
> 
> If we could say definitively and universally say that the downloaders actually offer
> no perf gains, and they open up the door to a lot of risks that would be
> a great message to send and have echoed to users of all browsers.
> We might need product work to get there.
> 
> It would also be a good step to validate any claims made by
> downloaders offered off of amo and sites where we have control
> over the content that promotes the downloader addons.
> 
> -chofmann
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 11:15 AM, Anthony Hughes <ahughes at mozilla.com <mailto:ahughes at mozilla.com>> wrote:
> I am personally against implementing *any* features which enable users to violate terms of service. However, I think you hit the nail on the head with your last paragraph, Chris. We should investigate and fix the underlying issues that drive people to download videos.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> On 9 June 2015 at 09:04, Masayuki Nakano <masayuki at d-toybox.com <mailto:masayuki at d-toybox.com>> wrote:
> FYI: One of the most popular video download add-ons, Video DownloadHelper,  causes serious performance issue. I see some users who believe the performance issue is Firefox's trying to switch to Google Chrome.
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1172200 <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1172200>
> 
> So, if we could include popular feature, it would be good thing for avoiding bad UX caused by add-on compatibility.
> 
> [1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/?sort=popular <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/?sort=popular>
> [2] https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms <https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms>
> 
> Video DownloadHelper
> Flash Video Downloader - YouTube HD Download [4K]
> Download YouTube Videos as MP4
> Ant Video Downloader
> DownThemAll!
> 1-Click YouTube Video Download
> YouTube Video and Audio Downloader
> Download Flash and Video
> Easy Youtube Video Downloader Express
> YouTube Video Downloader For Context Menu
> FlashGot Mass Downloader
> YouTube mp3
> Video Downloader professional
> Youtube Downloader 4K - Video Downloader
> NetVideoHunter
> 
> -- 
> Masayuki Nakano <masayuki at d-toybox.com <mailto:masayuki at d-toybox.com>>
> Manager, Internationalization, Mozilla Japan.
> 
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Anthony Hughes
> Senior Quality Engineer
> Mozilla Corporation
> 
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