Quibi, the newest entrant in the mobile streaming market, now lets viewers take screenshots of its shows. However, the process isn't as straightforward as taking screenshots of anything else on your phone. 's screenshotting feature is rather complex.
To capture a screenshot on Quibi, you'll have to long-press the screen for a pop-up menu. Now, you'll have to slide your finger over to the screenshot button and release it. You might be prompted to allow the Quibi app to access your camera when you try screenshotting for the first time.
An additional tool lets you quickly share Quibi screenshots on various social media platforms. As soon as you capture a screenshot, the image will briefly appear in a pop-up at the bottom of your screen. You can tap on that pop-up to share the screenshot on your social media handles, or via text or email.
If you're wondering why you can't take a screenshot on Quibi the way you take elsewhere on the phone, that's because of the DRM, or digital rights management used by content creators. Among other things, DRM prevents viewers from capturing copyrighted work. If you try capturing a screenshot on Quibi the traditional way, you'll end up saving a black screen and nothing else.
Pretty much all streaming services block viewers from capturing the screen due to DRM protection. This prevents piracy of shows, at least up to an extent. However, this also prevents users from screenshotting a scene that they may want to share with friends or make memes of.
Quibi, being a mobile-first streaming service, missing a screenshot tool seemed a bit of an oversight. It has finally added one, albeit in an overly-complex way. That said, you still can't take screenshots of downloaded videos on Quibi. The feature may not work in some episodes online as well. Additionally, screenshots do not capture closed captions or subtitles.
The new screenshot tool may give some exposure to Quibi
Launched in April this year, Quibi hasn't really got off to a start it'd probably hoped for. The service debuted with a tsunami of celebrity-fronted shows segmented into tiny episodes of 10 minutes or less. They call them "quick bites", and hence the "qui-bi" name.
It also offered a talk show, documentaries, and movies, but failed to attract enough viewers. The service launched at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial uncertainty around it. Quibi subscription is $4.99 a month with ads, while the ad-free experience costs $7.99 a month. But despite it offering a 90-day free trial, Quibi had only attracted about 1.5 million active users by the end of May.
The company is now reportedly anticipating just about two million paying subscribers by the end of the year. That's significantly lesser than its initial target of 7.4 million subscribers. Clear enough, the service is struggling.
In the meantime, it has been regularly adding new features to the platform. Support for AirPlay and Chromecast were some of the prominent additions, allowing Quibi viewers to watch its shows on bigger screens. Now, the ability to capture screenshots of shows might help the platform gain some exposure. It will help Quibi's content to be more widely promoted by viewers on social media.
Tom Conrad, Quibi’s chief product officer, says the company is working on to further improve this screenshotting tool. Although the tool is live for users, "it’s a sort of public beta," Conrad said in a series of tweets. Hopefully, they can still make this feature less complicated.