Facebook Ads To Penalize Slow Websites
Google and Facebook are constantly changing how, when, and why users see and consume certain information on social media. If you’ve grown frustrated with Facebook’s endless app updates, unwanted features, or overall poor user experience, you’re not alone. Most of us don’t welcome change, because let’s face it, it’s annoying. But this newest update will solve a problem that have many users frustrated—and this time, you might actually be thanking them for it.
If you’ve ever scrolled through your feed and clicked on an interesting link or article, only to be met with a blank white screen and the spinning wheel of death, then you know how frustrating it can be to wait for a slow-loading page. According to Facebook, as many as 40% of users abandon a site after a three second delay. To combat this, an updated News Feed algorithm will aim to reduce the number of those websites users actually see, so that they can spend less time waiting, and more time reading.
Facebook says, “We’ve heard from people that it’s frustrating to click on a link that leads to a slow-loading webpage. […] 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 algorithm will reduce the reach of websites that are not mobile-optimized by leading users instead to more mobile-friendly sites. By influencing the content users see, Facebook hopes to crack down on those frustrating sites to improve the user experience even more. Here’s how it works.
The algorithm will prioritize what users see based on the estimated load time for the page, which will take into account the user’s internet connection, the average speed of the corresponding website, and the device on which it’s being accessed. So, someone with a poor internet connection who may have trouble loading videos will be shown less videos and more status updates.
Similar to Google’s recent update, Facebook’s newest algorithm update will not only improve the user experience, but it will effectively penalize those sites which are not optimized for mobile devices. This has become an increasingly relevant concern for advertisers as the number of mobile users has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, 94% of users access Facebook from a mobile device, and that’s a number that simply cannot be ignored.
According to Facebook, the update will roll out gradually over the course of the next few months, so you may not notice a change in your feed right away. What do you think about Facebook influencing the user experience in this way? Is it an effective means to crack down on sites that are not mobile friendly?