If you head over to YouTube for the next month, you might find the videos you're watching don't look nearly as good as they once did.
In a statement on Tuesday, YouTube said that it will limit the video quality of all of its videos for the next month to standard definition. The move will be applied around the world, and is an attempt to cut down on the traffic load in countries that are battling the spread of Covid-19.
Google told Bloomberg in a statement that it will "continue to work closely with governments" as they try to manage Internet loads during this period.
Of course, the move could have far-reaching implications. For one, the user experience will be degraded, which at a time like this when the world is in crisis, is probably the least of most people's concerns.
But it might also affect some business decision-making, especially if you're operating a company that uses video to promote your business. Under this slowdown, YouTube, at least for the next month, might not be the best solution.
Alternatives, like Vimeo, Dailymotion, and a variety of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram might be better options to push out videos right now. In many cases, they're still delivering high-definition and 4K video, and if you need that to promote your brand, you'll want to keep that in mind.
Aside from that, YouTube's decision seems to be an important one that other tech companies might want to follow. It's actually a move that most companies should follow.
The fact is, the world needs more capacity for just about everything crucial to saving lives. And the Internet is one of those key elements in keeping people alive. With people around the world at home and using their Internet to communicate, work, and play games, it's leaving precious few resources for areas that need it most.
To its credit, YouTube is doing the right thing and doing its part to keep countries safe. Other major companies, like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, are doing the same in Europe. Soon enough, they might need to take drastic measures in the U.S. to keep the Internet functioning smoothly.
The moves also mean that companies are doing what they need to do to continue operating their businesses. Make no mistake -- if these companies didn't throttle Internet, governments could step in and force them do so.
That's an important takeaway for any businesses, but especially those operating in the tech industry: What can you do to help in the Covid-19 fight without necessarily sacrificing your business? And most importantly, what can you do now before being forced to do something later?
YouTube has figured it out. Now it's every other business owner's time to do the same.