Facebook has announced that they will be updating News Feeds, so that it works better on slower internet connection speeds like 2G. The aim is to ensure that users in developing countries get to load and scroll through their News Feed swiftly, regardless of the connection speed. In its statement, Facebook said that it will now take into account the speed of the connection when showing stories on the News Feed. For example, if it detects that the user has a slower internet connection, it will show fewer videos, and more status updates and links.
To help it distinguish between different networks, Facebook has developed an open-sourced Network Connection Class. The company says that this helps it determine how fast a network connection is. It also says that it will start retrieving more stories and photos while the user is reading their News Feed, ensuring that stories are always available to view. The updated News Feed will prioritise which stories to load. Rather than downloading the entire series of News Feed stories, it will first download the story that the user is looking at. Facebook has also moved to a Progressive JPEG photo format. This allows it to display low-quality versions of photographs while they are still being downloaded. Facebook says that this not only allows users to see most of the image instead of nothing at all, but also lowers the data required. This change was previously implemented for iOS at the start of the year, and is now available on iOS and Android.
In case the connection is slow and Facebook is unable to load any stories on the News Feed, it will show previously downloaded stories. The older stories will be shown till users get a better internet connection. The company has said that when it uploads a news feed, it will only show those stories that the user has not seen previously. This helps to to ensure that data isn’t being wasted. However, in case something about that story has changed, such as the number of comments, likes, or if it was deleted, updates will be made when the user sees the story again.
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