NEWS: Facebook is About to Start Ranking Faster Websites Higher in News Feed

Anup Batra


ICYMI: Facebook announced another change to its News Feed algorithm this week that will see faster loading stories ranked higher than slower ones, in an effort to improve the mobile experience for users of the app.

In a post on the company’s newsroom page, web engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo wrote “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.”

So what does this mean exactly? Basically Facebook will look at a multitude of factors including estimated load time, network connection and general speed of a website to determine whether the webpage will load quickly or not. If everything is looking good, the story might appear higher up in your feed than one that is likely to load more slowly.

While Facebook maintains the change is designed to simply improve user experience, there has been some speculation the move favours the enterprise’s Instant Articles. Instant Articles is Facebook’s controversial move into the world online publishing and allow users to access content from external sources without leaving the app.

Importantly, no matter how well optimised your website is for mobile, Instant Articles are just that – instant – and Facebook has created them specially to load faster than external links. In fact, according to Facebook as many as 40 per cent of visitors will abandon a site after a three second delay, proving just how important game changing Instant Articles really are.

So, do you think Facebook has ulterior motives? Or is the multimillion dollar enterprise purely focused on improving its customer’s user experience?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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