Facebook announced late Wednesday that it’s testing tweaks to its news feed on mobile that will help the user experience with slower connections, especially on 2G. This new design philosophy for News Feed aims to make it device and connection agnostic, and Facebook has thought up a clever way of doing it.
“In the past, if you were on a poor internet connection or had no connection, you might need to wait for stories to load when you opened News Feed,” Facebook said in a blog post. “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.”
“We also factor in whether the images for the story are available. This way we can immediately display relevant stories you haven’t seen yet, instead of showing a spinner while you wait for new stories. When we receive new stories from the server when you’re back online, we load and rank those stories normally.”
Beyond that, Facebook is also enabling users to comment on stories when they’re offline, bringing commenting in line with the already-existing offline capabilities for liking and sharing posts. The app will also “periodically retrieve new stories” in the background when the user has a good connection (I’m assuming this means Wi-Fi, but it wasn’t specifically stated).