Facebook announced some changes it has made to the News Feed to make it more efficient for showing relevant stories when you’re on a slow connection.
For one, they’re testing an update in which they look at all previously downloaded stories on your phone that you haven’t viewed, and then rank those based on relevance when you’re on a poor connection. Previously, Facebook would just make you wait for stories to load.
“We rank relevant, already downloaded stories upon startup of the app, when you navigate to News Feed from the app or pull down to refresh stories at the top of your feed, or as you are scrolling through your News Feed,” explains Facebook in a blog post. “We’re also testing improvements to keep these stories up to date throughout the day by periodically retrieving new stories when you have a good connection. This helps us make sure the stories we have available are the most relevant and current.”
Another update allows you to comment on stories even when you don’t have a connection. You’ve already been able to like and share posts while offline, but now commenting will work too. Of course the comment won’t actually post until you do have a connection, so in more timely conversations, it still might not be an ideal situation.
“For example, if you see a post about a friend’s engagement when you’re not connected to the internet, you can compose a congratulatory comment, and it will appear on his or her post when you’re back online,” Facebook says. “These changes will help anyone who is on a poor internet connection — even those whose network connectivity is generally good but who have intermittent connections in places like subways and tunnels, or at large events. None of these changes affect News Feed ranking. We are simply showing you the most relevant content as efficiently as possible. We’ll be testing and rolling this out over time to gather feedback.”
Facebook made additional tweaks for slower connections back in October. At the time, it said it would start taking your connection speed into account, and prioritize which stories to load based on that as well as show previously loaded stories on poor connections.
Image via Facebook