Facebook optimizes news feed for network connection speed
- Facebook has made a change in its news feed algorithm according to a company blog post.
- The shift is in how it displays news feed posts with a new client-side ranking that prioritizes posts based on the user’s connection speed.
- In practical terms for marketers, they should be aware of the connection speed of any target audience and stick with text and images over video for an audience that likely has a slower connection.
Facebook has long made it clear it has two goals in serving both its user base and its advertisers – it does everything possible to create a good user experience, and it also wants to provide value to its advertisers. Even though this shift in the news feed algorithm doesn’t directly impact advertisers, it does make a difference with marketers taking advantage of the platform for organic marketing, and providing a clear heads up on how the news feed algorithm handles content is valuable for those marketers.
The new approach enables Facebook to surface stories that have been optimized for a user's connection at the time of a session. In other words, Facebook will check to see whether the media in a story, such as an image, video or link preview, has been loaded on a device before it shows the user that story. If it hasn't, the ranking of stories is changed with stories with fully loaded content being prioritized and those with slow-loading content temporarily moving down in the ranking while it finished loading.
Facebook is taking advantage of a mobile device's computing abilities to support the infrastructure, which will serve as a foundation as Facebook continues to build out an improved news feed.
"This change improves the consumption experience in emerging markets because people will see fewer gray boxes, spinners and incomplete stories,” Facebook explained in the post.