(Mirror Daily, United States) – Having a poor internet connection can translate into a very slow Facebook news feed – and nobody likes scrolling through data-heavy videos that won’t load in a timely fashion.
With all the updates Facebook has released in the past months – no, years – our news feed has become filled with higher-quality pictures, auto-playing videos, and art-rich news stories. What this makes up for in social-networking engagement, it lacks in practicality on less speedy connections.
Aware of the problems, Facebook decided to do something about it; this week, the tech giant announced that news feed content will be prioritized according to your internet connection. For those accessing the website or the app on 4G LTE connection, all posts will be presented.
Those on slower connections, however, should expect to see only links and status updates rather than videos and pictures. In this category will be included users of Internet.org’s Free Basics, the service soon to be provided by Facebook.
Chris Marra, product manager for emerging markets, and Alex Sourov, an engineering manager, wrote a blog post on the matter, explaining that the News Feed Team has been focusing on how to offer people the possibility of scrolling on any connection speed.
Meanwhile, Facebook has also developed the ability of loading more stories when you’re on slower connections. Basically, in the time that you’re spending reading one post, the app will start preparing other upcoming stories so they are fully loaded by the time you continue your scrolling.
But fear not, prioritizing works both ways. For example, if you’ve stopped scrolling on a photo of a friend that isn’t fully downloaded, Facebook makes it its priority over loading whatever stories would come up below. That way, users can see the things they find most important as quickly as possible.
You know how frustrating it is to wait for a photo to load and seeing a blank space in the meantime? Facebook’s new Progressive JPEG photo format will take care of that. Instead of seeing nothing, users will be able to check a lower-quality version of the photo until it downloads fully. That way, they will know if it’s worth waiting to see the picture in full quality.
At the same time, losing your connection completely won’t be as bad, as Facebook says you’ll be able to at least peruse content that you’ve already scrolled past. Opening your Facebook app on an airplane, for example, won’t turn up a blank page but the last stories you saw when you did have a connection.
Image Source: Future Media Lab