The changes will be rolled out over the next few months following internal research from the company that shows users will abandon a link if it takes too long for it to load. If a link fails to load quickly after having been clicked through the news feed, the social media company fears that it will result in users leaving the site to search for it through other avenues and ultimately spending less time on site overall.
Priority will be given to stories that load quickly on mobile devices. Facebook will calculate this speed with a number of metrics to hand such as estimated land time, the user’s current network connection, and the general speed of the web page the user is trying to visit. Pages that do not sufficiently meet the speed standard will be ranked lower overall in the hierarchy of the news feed of users.
According to TechCrunch, this change may result in higher priority being given to websites that make use of Facebook’s Instant Articles, a mobile publishing format specifically catered to the social media platform that can make an article load as much as ten times faster as compared to a regular web page. Instant Articles are not mentioned by name in Facebook’s announcement about the upcoming change for prioritizing news pieces that load faster despite the connection between the two elements being a natural conclusion that one might reach.
What do you think of this Facebook news feed change that is coming? Is the loading speed of a page you click on through Facebook important to you? What improvements or changes do you think the social media giant should focus on? Let us know in the comments below!