Facebook: Not the Biggest Fan of Slow-Loading Sites

Slow Sites in PhoenixOnline users aren’t the only anti-fans of slow sites; social network giant Facebook is a member of that club too.

In August, Facebook announced that web page loading time poses a significant impact on how users will see Facebook ads. As the social network puts it, they will consider “website performance and a person’s network connection in our ad auction and delivery system.”

Simply put, if your page is slower than a turtle, you might be in trouble.

Fortunately, Facebook offers a helping hand for advertisers. To provide faster user experiences, they introduced prefetching.

How Prefetching Works

Social Connect, a digital marketing agency, considers Facebook as a game changer in online marketing. Anyone who wishes to succeed in social media management, particularly small businesses, should keep up with Facebook’s recent features. In this case, it’s prefetching.

The new feature will download mobile content (both advertising and organic) in advance. Facebook’s help page describes how it works: “For each News Feed mobile ad, Facebook attempts to predict how likely a person is to click on an ad."

The prediction score will need to meet Facebook's requirements so that the site will "prefetch the initial HTML page when the story first appears on a person’s screen."

According to Facebook, the content is cached on the person's device for a short time. Currently, Facebook is only able to cache the initial HTML page, excluding the CSS, Javascript or images.

How Prefetching Helps

Advertisers will consider prefetching as a godsend due to its two benefits:

  • Reduce disinterested users who abandon the site before it loads. According to Facebook, 40% of users will leave the site if it fails to load within three seconds.
  • Reduce mobile site loading time. Mobile users prefer sites that load faster.
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The ultimate goal is to improve engagement and ad performance. If your ad takes users to a slow-loading site, they will lose interest and your ad will underperform, which means more payments.

Just like Google, Facebook aims to make mobile experience better. It expects its advertisers to do the same.