Social Media

How Facebook is tweaking your news feed during slow connections

Facebook is looking at ways it can keep feeding news updates to its users when there is a slower mobile connection. 

In a blog post Wednesday night, Facebook announced it was testing out features that could be used on a slower connection or even when a user is offline.

Facebook feed on a cell phone.
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

When dealing with a sluggish connection, Facebook will load the user's previously downloaded stories which haven't yet been seen, and rank them on the person's news feed based on each one's relevance. The company is also factoring in whether each post has an image accompanying it.

In addition, engineers who work for the social media giant are looking into how they can keep stories up to date throughout the day, using better internet connections as an opportunity to retrieve and deliver new articles to each user.

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The app will also allow users to comment on stories when there is no internet connection, which is then posted onto the site swiftly after the Internet connection is back up.

The main aim for this is improving people's connection to Facebook in emerging markets, as the user rate is accelerating fast. 

Many are gaining access to a 2G connection, which while efficient, has been superseded by newer technologies used in the West including 4G technology.

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"These changes will help anyone who is on a poor Internet connection — even those whose network connectivity is generally good but who have intermittent connections in places like subways and tunnels, or at large events," the blog post said.

In January, Facebook quietly rolled out its "Facebook Lite": a stripped down version of its mobile app that works with those who have older mobile models in emerging markets.

In September, more than one billion people used Facebook's site every day on average; however, the firm is determined to expand its brand in several emerging markets, including India and China.  

"(Facebook) has this big initiative to get everyone on the internet," Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, told CNBC last month.

"They want to increase the content, they want to be everywhere where the users are and with good content and good ads out there."

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By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy and @CNBCi