Facebook’s Push for Faster Loading Links: What You Need to Know

You may have read that Facebook recently announced that they will be prioritizing faster loading pages in their rankings. It’s a move towards a much better experience for users, especially on mobile, but it also means that marketers may have some questions. Here’s what you need to know.


What changes are they making?


Facebook will be rolling out a change to their News Feed algorithm soon that increases the distribution of links to faster loading web pages. That means any link that you are posting to your page is more likely to be seen if it loads quickly, especially on mobile.

The definition of “slow-loading” will take into account the estimated load time of a webpage when someone clicks a link in the News Feed on the Facebook mobile app, as well as other factors, like the user’s current network connection speed along with the general speed of the web page you posted.

Simply put, if your link loads quickly, Facebook will make sure the it gets a higher position in the News Feed and will be seen by more people. Conversely, that means if you post a link to a web page that loads particularly slowly, you will probably see decreases in the distribution of your link.

Today we announced an upcoming update to News Feed to show people more stories that will load quickly on mobile and fewer stories that might take longer to load. We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed, but Pages whose webpages are particularly slow could see slight drops in referral traffic.
— Facebook


Why are they making this change?

Basically, no one likes slow loading pages and they are hurting the overall Facebook experience for users. In fact, data shows that as many as 40 percent of website visitors will abandon a site if there’s a three-second delay on loading across the web.

This is actually not the first change that Facebook has made to improve the speed of links. For example, they will display fewer videos when they detect that a user’s network connection is slow and prioritize other articles and posts.


How does it affect your Privy popups?


If you’re posting links to pages with Privy installed, you don’t have to change a thing. Privy’s code loads on websites asynchronously, so it will never block or slow down other parts of your site that are actively downloading. While web page analysis tools may show that Privy loads later than other resources, this is entirely intentional.

Basically, the page load speed is not impacted by having Privy installed because Privy’s assets are not placed on the critical render path for your site and any images and stylesheets used are delivered via a global CDN to minimize load time.


So, what should i do?


Facebook has offered website owners 10 Speed Best Practices that they can employ to ensure their links are not penalized for being slow.

  1. Minimize landing page redirects, plugins, and link shorteners

  2. Compress files to decrease mobile rendering time

  3. Improve server response time by utilizing multi region hosting

  4. Remove render-blocking javascript

  5. Use a high-quality content delivery network to reach your audience quickly

  6. Remove redundant data that does not impact how the page is processed by the browser

  7. Optimize images to reduce file size without diminishing visual quality

  8. Reduce the size of above the fold content to prioritize visual content

  9. Use asynchronous scripts to streamline page render time

  10. Dynamically adjust the content for slower connections/devices