Facebook Improves UX For People With Slower Connections

Facebook is seeing its fastest growth in the developing world & that’s where the social network is signing up most of its new users, and because many of those people are connecting via slower 2G mobile connections, Facebook is making technical accommodations. Using a Facebook-created open-source “Network Connection Class,”  Facebook is able to sniff out how fast a person’s connection is and serves content in the News Feed accordingly.

While on Facebook people on slower connections see fewer bandwidth-hogging videos and more text and photo updates. They are also able to read the story they are looking at while the rest of the News Feed is loading in the background, but in a way that prioritizes the content currently in view. Facebook has now been displaying photos in progressive JPEG format, meaning that it can display lower-quality versions of images while they are loading.

In it’s continued effort to improve the mobile experience for people with slower internet connections, Facebook has made another accommodation. Now Facebook will look at all the previously downloaded stories that have not been viewed yet, rank them based on relevance and display them for users. It will also factor in whether images associated with the story are available.Previously, people with sketchy cell signals had to wait for stories to load in Facebook’s mobile app.

Here is excerpt from the latest updates from Facebook BLOG POST

We are now testing an update in which we look at all the previously downloaded stories present on your phone that you have not yet viewed, and rank them based on their relevance. We also factor in whether the images for the story are available. This way we can immediately display relevant stories you haven’t seen yet, instead of showing a spinner while you wait for new stories. When we receive new stories from the server when you’re back online, we load and rank those stories normally.

You can now also comment on stories you see when you don’t have an internet connection. While the ability to like and share posts when you’re offline has been available for some time, now you can comment on posts and the comment will be posted whenever you next have a connection.

Facebook said the updates won’t affect the overall News Feed ranking algorithm.


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