Facebook

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been working on News Feed update that will address the limitation that most people, especially in emerging markets, face due to slow data connections.

The social media giant is testing out a new feature that will allow the Facebook app to capture new stories during access to good internet connection and allow the user to see them later. The feature will also make stories available according to relevance. The new update will thus eliminate the annoying spinning icon that shows up when content is loading.

Facebook will additionally make it possible for Android users to comment on News Feed posts without necessarily being online. However, the comment will be available for viewing by other users once an internet connection is regained. The feature was originally developed to cater to users in developing countries as part of allowing for a non-net restricted experience. However, the new feature will also offer its benefits to Android users in developed countries.

The company believes that the new update will encourage more activity on the social network. The initiative fits the same objectives of the company with Free Basics. Facebook product manager Chris Struhar stated that the objective of the News Feed is to offer information and events that matter to the user. He further added that the company has to pursue this objective regardless of network factors or the type of device being used.

Facebook representatives including designers and engineers make regular visits to emerging markets to try and learn more about the habits of the users in various regions. Speed and data were some of the recent concerns that were aired out. This saw the launch of a program called 2G Tuesdays where the company’s employees simulate 2G speeds on Tuesdays so they can get a better understanding of what some users go through. Facebook also concentrated on Android devices because they are more common in emerging markets compared to iPhones.

Facebook also announced that it will gradually roll out the feature for testing so that it can gather feedback. There is a very slim chance that the feature will be available on iOS devices. Facebook is also yet to reveal whether it is working on a similar upgrade for Windows users.

Sources: engadget, Forbes