Here’s How Facebook Is Changing the News Feed

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Gets An Offline Mode.

“Our mission with News Feed is to connect people with the stories that matter most to them, but if people’s News Feeds aren’t loading because of poor internet connections, we can’t show them the most relevant stories,” according to the post. “To improve News Feed so it works seamlessly and quickly for people in all parts of the world, we’re focused on designing it to operate well regardless of device or network connection.” One new feature being implemented has to do with showing users relevant posts when their connections are slow. “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,” according to the company. The changes will mean that users can comment, share and like posts even when they are offline, with all changes updating when the user connects to the internet again.

“People are coming online at a staggering rate in emerging markets, and in most cases they’re doing so on mobile via 2G connections,” product and engineering managers Chris Marra and Alex Sourov wrote in a blog post.Facebook this week said it will begin rolling out new technology that allows users on slower mobile connections to still see new stories in their News Feed, even when on a poor connection or when they’re unable to reach Facebook’s servers.

Through the months, Facebook has been making improvements to its mobile app to enhance user experience and now, the company has introduced more updates to improve the way users work on slower internet connections. In addition, users will be able to comment on posts when they’re offline, and those comments will be posted to the app when your connection returns. The company explains that the goal with these changes is to better aid those in developing markets, where they primarily access the social network via phones on slower 2G connections. The way Facebook’s News Feed was originally designed didn’t take into account how these users would struggle when trying to view new content on the network over these lagging connections, however.

In addition, engineers who work for the social media giant are looking into how they can keep stories up to date throughout the day, using better internet connections as an opportunity to retrieve and deliver new articles to each user. This way, Facebook will immediately display relevant stories which haven’t been seen yet, instead of showing a spinner while the user waits for new stories. When they come back online, their News Feeds will automatically receive new stories from Facebook’s server, which will display as they would have normally. This will take place while a user navigates to News Feed from the app or pulls down to refresh stories at the top of the feed, or even when one is scrolling through the News Feed.

Those perusing the service on 4G LTE can browse videos, photo albums, and news stories; folks on slower connections—like’s Free Basics—might only see text updates and links. In September, more than one billion people used Facebook’s site every day on average; however, the firm is determined to expand its brand in several emerging markets, including India and China. “(Facebook) has this big initiative to get everyone on the internet,” Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, told CNBC last month. Then, the app will show you these “new” stories – which are, in reality, those you already download but hadn’t yet reached by scrolling further down your News Feed. In June, the company also launched its Facebook Lite Android app, which consumes less data and works across all network conditions in countries throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. These comments won’t technically post until you’re back online, of course, but they do at least give you a way to prepare your comments for that time, as well as feel as if you’re using Facebook normally, despite your lack of connection.

At the time of that release, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that initiatives had brought more than 6 million people online who previously weren’t. Facebook, Google and other tech giants are working to address this problem with far-out initiatives like drones and high-flying balloons to deliver internet access in areas where it’s lacking.

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