Facebook announced changes to its News Feed on Wednesday
that will cause webpages with faster load times to appear
higher in the feed, with slow-loading pages being downgraded
and likely seeing less referral traffic.
blog post, Facebook engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo said
the change is in response to frustrations from the Facebook
community over slow-loading websites. According to Facebook’s
engineers, 40 percent of people won’t wait more than three
seconds for a page to load, and Facebook wants to make sure
people can spend more time reading the stuff they want.
To do this, Facebook says it will be taking into account the
speed of your network connection, and the general speed of a
website. If both your connection and the site is slow, the link
will be lower in your News Feed. Publishers will have to
figure out on their own if their site is not up to Facebook’s
speed standards. The company points to a post on best practices
for making faster loading websites.
TechCrunch pointed out that publishers using Facebook’s
Instant Articles format will definitely not see a decrease, as
the format strips bulky code and restricts ads for a faster load
experience. Facebook did not mention any potential boost for
Instant Article users.
The update is just one of many things Facebook has changed to
make user’s News Feed experience more enjoyable. Facebook
says it already evaluates people’s devices and network
connections, and shows fewer videos and more status updates
if someone’s connection is slow. Facebook can also
prefetch mobile stories, downloading them before someone clicks
to shorten load times.
The change will be rolling out to News Feeds over the next few