Facebook’s offline news feed
Facebook is looking at ways it can keep feeding news updates to its users when there is a slower mobile connection, so the users on Facebook mobile app will never miss a post. The company announced today in a blog post Wednesday night that it’s altering its app’s News Feed so users will still see new posts while they’re in poorly connected areas. The social network is also introducing the ability to comment on stories while offline, which will post once they’ve reconnected. “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 company wrote.
As far as the News Feed, Facebook said it’ll log the stories a user has already downloaded and not yet viewed. When users go offline, the app will display those posts based on Facebook’s relevance algorithm. When they come back online, their News Feeds will automatically receive new stories from Facebook’s server, which will display as they would have normally. The app takes the already downloaded but unread posts into account upon startup and ranks them with new stories as the News Feed is refreshed or scrolled through. The company said it’s also going to test a feature that allows the app to retrieve new stories throughout the day while users are on a good connection.
Users have always been able to like and share posts while offline, but they’ll now also be able to cue up comments for when they come back online. Once they’ve reconnected, the comments will automatically post. This feature, as well as the News Feed changes, will be tested and rolled out slowly, the company said.