One of the biggest problems we face while using social media on the go is the lack of a reliable internet connection. Most of us login while we’re out and about, and this often means frequent connection problems. Now, if you’re just browsing, then this isn’t that big a problem, but if you want to be productive, then this really isn’t convenient.
Today, Facebook is starting to let you do a lot more offline.
Facebook’s continuous mission in how it develops the News Feed, is “to connect people with the stories that matter most to them”. And Facebook can’t do that effectively if people are finding it hard to connect to it, right? In most urban areas, this isn’t a major issue, but there are many people across the globe, especially in emerging markets who don’t have access to anything higher than a 2G connection. To improve the Facebook experience for them, the News Feed is being tweaked again.
With changes currently being tested, Facebook hopes to be able to “show you relevant stories in your News Feed when you’re on a slow connection” and “let you compose comments on posts when you’re offline”.
Showing You Relevant Stories On Slower Connections
The first change relates to how the News Feed will take all the stories that have been loaded when you have coverage, and rank them while you’re offline. Relevant stories will appear on top as usual. Stories that have been seen will not appear, and stories for which images haven’t been loaded when you have coverage will rank lower. As you scroll down your News Feed or pull down for new stories to load, you will get served the most relevant stories that have been already loaded.
Also, Facebook will update stories during the day, retrieving new ones when a good connection is found, thus making sure that only the most relevant and most current stories are loaded.
Providing More Options To Join The Conversation
The second change allows users to comment on the stories they are served while offline. Liking and sharing posts while offline has been available for a while now, you can now also comment and it will be posted as soon as you’re online again. So, you might be served a story that you’d like to respond to immediately. Now you can… just that your response will appear after the post when you’re back online.
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Facebook has said that these changes will not affect ranking on the News Feed – the company explains that this is only a way to show “you the most relevant content as efficiently as possible”. Also, as this functionality is just being tested at the moment, it is subject to change and improve over time.