The internet connectivity has always been a major problem in a developing country like India and the obsession with Facebook is a worldwide phenomenon. A majority of the world (two-thirds) still faces the problem of an unreliable internet connection and Facebook is doing something about it.
Looking at the problem and its effect on an individual’s willingness to access Facebook on a daily basis, the company is now developing the app to be used like it is when online even when you are on a really slow connection or no connection at all. The current version of the application already allows us to like and share the posts which the app cached when it was online. Yes, it is there, give it a try.
The “comment even when you are offline” functionality is getting added as the part of the app keeping in mind the unreliability of the internet in the developing countries. However, its usage will prove to be a reliable way to access Facebook in developed countries too when the examples like subways and underground places validate the usage use cases.
The main focus of the upcoming update will be on the user’s ability to like, share and even comment (new functionality since the previous update was limited to liking and sharing) on the posts in their news feed when the connection seems really slow or when the application fails to connect to the Facebook servers altogether. The news feed was targeted since it is the most used feature on the company’s mobile application. The feature makes the content on the news feed appear fresh without forcing the users to load the content and stare at the spinner in vain.
Behind the scenes, the application collects the news feed data already when the user is encountering a reliable connection. In simple words the app loads the news feed stories in the memory which were supposed to be loaded when user scrolled down in the application. These stories (unwatched) are saved and loaded later when the app loses the connection. The functionality does not end here. The data which is loaded already is ranked according to the relevance of the content. This ranking algorithm will also prioritize the content based on the photos, close friends’ posts and follow ups.
The app will continue to download the new stories all through the day when you are experiencing a reliable connection, so that you will always have the relevant content to read and care about. The company says that they will roll out the features over time so expecting the functionality in the next update seems too early.