In a somewhat unexpected post, Facebook has announced that it will be using load speed of linked content as a factor in its feed ranking algorithm.
As noted in the announcement post, Facebook engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo explain that in the coming months, the social network will introduce an update that will give preference to faster loading content in users’ feeds.
Driven by improving user experience, Google introduced a similar focus to its ranking algorithms a while ago. And more recently has given it even greater weighting as it isolates an index for mobile search. The premise simply being that people on the go haven’t got time to wait for content.
According to research highlighted in the post, 40% of web users abandon a site after a 3 second delay.
So the move will surely be welcomed by Facebook users on mass.
But what does this mean for content creators, business page owners and digital marketing people?
Industry folks have been speculating about Facebook’s feed algorithm for a while, recognising that it would eventually (if not sooner), employ a similar series of ranking factors to that of Google’s search algorithm.
So does this spell the start of a new breed of search engine optimisation, or more correctly, “Social Feed Optimisation”. Quite possibly. Watch this space.