The Facebook News Feed ranking algorithm will begin to push faster loading pages to the top, while downranking slow rendering pages in the next few months…
Social giant Facebook just announced it will roll out changes to its News Feed to give faster loading webpages a boost, while pushing slow loading pages down. “During the coming months we’re making an update to News Feed to show people more stories that will load quickly on mobile and fewer stories that might take longer to load, so they can spend more time reading the stories they find relevant,” Jiayi Wen, Engineer, and Shengbo Guo, Engineer explain.
Facebook News Feed will Start to Reward Faster Loading Webpages in the Coming Months
The company states it uses many factors to determine which stories people see that are the most relevant. These include the type of device, speed of the mobile network connection or WiFi signal. When users are on a slow connection, the News Feed displays more user posts and links, rather than videos. Facebook also states its improved user experience by downloading mobile content before users click-through, reducing page load time by over 25 percent.
This is because statistically, 40 percent of site visitors abandon pages with a three-second delay or longer. The upcoming update will soon take into account the estimated load time of pages. “Factors such as the person’s current network connection and the general speed of the corresponding webpage will be considered. If signals indicate the webpage will load quickly, the link to that webpage might appear higher.”
Facebook stipulates in its announcements it’s letting publishers know in advance to give time to prepare for the near future change and provides a link to its recommended best practices.
Oddly, the announcement does not include any mention of Instant Articles but a spokesperson told TechCrunch that it’s making the change due to user feedback, not to further promote the Instant Article format. “We are making this update in response to what people have told us. We know that faster loading webpages are a better experience for people, both on Facebook and across the internet.”
In May the company updated its News Feed algorithm to reduce clickbait. It also started downranking low-quality webpages in the News Feed to improve user experience.
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