You wish that you would post comments on Facebook posts even when you are offline? Facebook just heard you. The social networking giant has launched a new technology that will allow users to access new content on their News Feeds even with patchy or poor internet connection.
In a blog post, the company announced,”As a next step in improving people’s experiences on slower internet connections, we are shipping several changes that will more efficiently show you relevant stories in your News Feed when you’re on a slow connection and will let you compose comments on posts when you’re offline.”
News Feed is primarily Facebook’s homepage which shows readers real-time aggregation of statuses, photos, links, and the Likes posted by users they follow.
Wondering how this will work? Here’s what Facebook has to say:
“Anytime someone loads News Feed, we retrieve the latest and most relevant stories for each person. But most people don’t scroll through all stories when they look at News Feed.
In the past, if you were on a poor internet connection or had no connection, you might need to wait for stories to load when you opened News Feed. 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.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.
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.”
Facebook also recently launched 2G Tuesdays initiative which aims at understanding the issues faced by millions of people in emerging markets who only have access to slow internet connections. Under this, Facebook employees intentionally slow their internet down to 2G speeds — rather than the 3G or 4G ones that most developers will have access to. When Facebook employees log into the app on Tuesday mornings, they see a prompt at the top of their News Feed. That asks them whether they want to be part of the program for the next hour, slowing down their connection.Facebook hopes that the experience will lead people to develop new technologies to speed up the experience on slow connections.