Slower Loading Sites Will Soon Be Less Likely to Appear on Facebook

TechCrunch
Facebook have already taken steps to filter badly optimised websites out of the news feed, and now they’re turning their attention to sites which load slowly. As far as Facebook are concerned, this is a means to make sure people are seeing well managed, functional websites and those that aren’t have a further incentive to improve their loading speed. Generally though, they’re just trying to improve the news feed experience.

Statistically, around 50% of users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. Facebook are simply expanding on that by actually limiting the visibility of sites which are on the sluggish side. The issue with this is that poor site loading doesn’t necessarily mean the site is poorly managed, it may just mean that the site in question doesn’t have enough money to afford a better server rate.

That being said, Facebook are taking other factors into account, and the final decision on how well your website appears on Facebook will be based on a mixture of different things, including how often users actually click on links, like or share them. In this since, users will still see content relevant to them, even if it does load slowly, just not quite as high up on the list as might otherwise have been.

This change won’t come into effect for another month, a deliberate decision on Facebook’s part – they’re giving site managers time to address their loading speed issues. At this point, it’s just another addition to the long list of things that site runners need to account for when they’re making sure that their content is properly optimised for Facebook promotion, which itself is doubly important now that Facebook has surpassed 2 billion users worldwide.

The change is taking place across all formats, but there’s a particular focus on mobile users. Facebook have been fielding complaints that things aren’t loading quickly enough when accessed through the app, which may well have been the thing that sparked this change in the first place. Generally though, all the changes Facebook make are geared more towards mobile users, as they are trying to court users to spend as much time on the app version of the platform as possible.

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