Earlier today, #Facebook announced via a blog post that it would be making some changes to its #News Feed. The company has addressed the sentiments of many, which echo the frustration tied to clicking on a link that leads to a slow-loading #Web Page. This time, they want to increase the distribution of links to ensure faster loading of web pages, including its very own Instant Article format. The company notes that much of the negative impact is highly on Pages with very slow loading links.

How slow is slow?

Facebook recognized that it could be very frustrating for internet users to deal with links that load too long. They even found that on the general Internet level, people simply abandon what they were clicking altogether if they have to wait for a site to load too long.

Advertisements
Advertisements

According to numbers, as much as 40% of website visitors abandon a site after a delay of three seconds. News Feed's product manager Greg Marra reiterates how slow links are one of the biggest pet peeves of Facebook users.

The company further clarified that the decision to scrap a page will not be based solely on its loading time. They utilize thousands of signals including comments and likes to identify the content is entering a user's news feed. These features allowed the social media site to become the largest in the world; however, it also gathered criticism that the feed is highly exclusive and limited to sources they like. In addition to this, the user's current network connection speed plus the general speed of the web page will be taken into account.

Facebook is not alone in this course of action.

Advertisements

Google modified its mobile search results two years ago so that only links to pages that look good on a smaller screen will show up. In fact, such effort stirred some buzz causing people to term it as "mobilegeddon."

Faster feed

The update to the News Feed algorithm will factor in how fast or slow a web page loads upon the click on a link. Should the sources fail to meet the new standard, their reach will be decreased, and stories that load quickly will be prioritized. Facebook decided not to share to the public what is the acceptable load time since this number is expected to fluctuate. However, they define the threshold a pretty generous definition of fast. Whatever constitutes such definition is not further explained, but the company assured that moving forward, it will be the standard for all of its content.

According to Marra, the links in question will not disappear completely. Facebook will retain the relevant sources and sites for their users to continue to view. However, they intend to make the necessary changes in pursuit of a better News Feed experience. The update will roll out gradually in the coming months. This should allow publishers to make the adjustments to meet the new expectations.