Facebook has announced another News Feed algorithm update, this time focused on reducing the reach of websites which are not optimized for mobile devices.
As explained by Facebook: “We’ve heard from people that it’s frustrating to click on a link that leads to a slow-loading webpage. […] During the coming months we’re making an update to News Feed to show people more stories that will load quickly on mobile and fewer stories that might take longer to load, so they can spend more time reading the stories they find relevant.”
The mobile app will show users more stories that load quickly, pushing ones that may take longer further down in your feed — giving you relevant content that you will spend time reading.
The company explained it has been taking many factors into account for years to make sure Facebook users see relevant stories quickly. Your News Feed, especially, considers the type of device you are using and the speed of the mobile network or Wi-Fi connection. If you are on a slower internet connection that is not loading videos, your feed will show fewer videos and more links or status updates instead.
To load stories faster for those on a slow network, Facebook prefetches stories — meaning the mobile content is downloaded before clicking on the link. Stories are prefetched based on how likely you will click on the link in the mobile News Feed. If the prediction score measures up to the specific requirements, the initial HTML file is downloaded when the link appears on your screen. The content is then cached locally on your device for a short period of time.