Facebook is constantly testing new ways to enhance user experience and make it smoother and more addictive. The social network has announced that it will be updating its News Feed to improve its performance over slow connections. The update will bring constant relevant stories to the News Feed on slow connections and enable offline comments.
Low Connection Speeds and Facebook
Low bandwidth internet connections are a problem faced by almost all internet markets but emerging markets suffer the most due to limited high-speed internet coverage. After Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to India last year, he realised that emerging markets were not getting optimum Facebook experience. As a result, major optimisations have been improving the Facebook app experience over the past year or so. The latest updates are steps in the same direction.
The updated News Feed will let users stay connected even when users are on a slow 2G connection. The News Feed has been altered to display only new stories when the users are on a weak connection. Facebook says that the update is under trials at the moment and that it will re-sort all the previously downloaded stories. The updated News Feed will only display the stories that the user has not seen but were downloaded the last time the app was connected.
Offline Commenting Support for Facebook
This will be Facebook getting offline support. Instead of displaying a loading screen, the app will provide users with some content to read when the Facebook app starts. Users will require internet connectivity to update stories. New stories will be cached in the background throughout the day and will show up in the News Feed as they become available.
Facebook app is getting another feature as well. The new feature will let users comment on posts even when they aren’t connected to the internet. The app will let users compose comments in offline mode and will automatically post them when the user device connects to the internet. This change follows recent updates which enabled offline likes and shares.
The new changes will not affect the customised News feed experience and the content ranking will work as usual albeit “as efficiently as possible”. The update will roll out over time with emerging markets being the first to get it followed by the rest of the world. The updates will be available to android devices only since most users from the emerging markets use android smartphones.
The social network is working hard to improve its app experience. Recent projects like Network Connection Class, which optimises content cache based on user’s connection quality, and the Facebook Lite app for Android are a proof of its determination to globalise Facebook.