New architectural change in Facebook’s News Feed stories will now enable users to easily access stories in real time even if their net connection is slow or poor.
The social giant will now be able to rank stories on the client`s side as soon as they are sent from the server and put it in an appropriate place in the News Feed for better delivery and user engagement.Facebook engineers Alexandru Petrescu and Sami Tasannounced this on the company’s engineering blog.
Initially news feed stories were ranked on Facebook`s servers and then sent to the user based on calculations provided by its algorithm. However, the servers did not factor in net connectivity speed while deciding the ranking. With the new change, the stories will now leave the servers first and only after that will they be placed in a pool of possible content to show up in a user’s news feed. As the user scrolls through the news feed, Facebook will then rank the stories in real time.
Alexandru Petrescu and Sami Tasalso talk about speed and optimizing for connectivity in their blog. As per the explanation provided – “slow-loading content gets temporarily down-ranked while it loads because, before we show a story in your News Feed, we check to see whether the media in the story — the image, the video, the link preview, etc. — has been loaded on your device. If it hasn’t, we re-rank the stories on the client and prioritize those that have fully-loaded media.”
The big thinking behind this change has to do with ensuring a more engaging Facebook experience for users while also ensuring the company is able to push its presence in emerging markets as well.