Facebook is working hard on tailoring itself to be more accessible to developing and third-world countries. After recently announcing it will beam down internet to a large portion of the sub-Saharan Africa, and after announcing it's building an app for people that can't afford a high-tech smartphone, it now says it will tailor the newsfeed in accordance with the internet speed the user has.
Our newsfeed today is filled with data-consuming content: auto-playing videos, large photo albums, art-heavy news stories. It makes for a compelling, more engaging social-networking experience. But if you have a slow internet connection (or an expensive one), Facebook becomes a luxury.
Facebook wants to change that by tailoring your newsfeed. If you're on a slower connection, you might only see status updates and links.
"What this means for us on the News Feed team is making sure people can load and scroll through News Feed on any connection speed," Emerging Markets Product Manager Chris Marra and Engineering Manager Alex Sourov wrote in a blog post (opens in new tab).
At the same time, Facebook "can now start retrieving more stories and photos while you are reading News Feed on slower connections." So if you're reading one post while on a bad connection, Facebook will start loading other stories so they're ready when you continue scrolling.
The platform will also make sure to keep the stories from previous visits to the News Feed loaded, so that the user does not waste more data.
"However, if something about the story has changed — for example if the number of comments and likes has changed or if the post was deleted — we will make updates when you see the story again.”