Facebook announced Wednesday that it is launching new technology that allows users with poor mobile Internet connections to access new content on their News Feed.
The move is aimed at an increasing number of people living in developing markets who are coming online using phones that rely on slower 2G connections.
“Our mission with News Feed is to connect people with the stories that matter most to them, but if people’s News Feeds aren’t loading because of poor internet connections, we can’t show them the most relevant stories,” the company wrote in a blog post.
The News Feed is Facebook’s homepage, a real-time aggregation of “stories” — statuses, photos, links, and the Likes posted by the people and entities that the user follows — determined by an algorithm based on the user’s past habits. The company is now testing a software update that will scan previously downloaded stories that the user has not seen and bring them to the News Feed if the user’s phone is disconnected from the Internet and thus unable to retrieve new content.
Users will also be able to draft comments on posts even when they are disconnected. The site already enables sharing and liking posts in offline mode.
“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,” Facebook wrote.