Facebook is releasing a new feature for its mobile app users so that they don’t miss a single post. The feature will allow users to keep track of all posts, even while they are offline. On Thursday, the social network announced that it is updating the app’s News Feed so that users continuously receive new posts even when their connection is weak.
Facebook users won’t miss any action
“These changes will help anyone who is on a poor internet connection — even those whose network connectivity is generally good but who have intermittent connections in places like subways and tunnels, or at large events,” the social network said in a blog post.
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Users will also be able to comment on the posts, but they will be posted after they reconnect, the company said. Facebook informed users that the News Feed will log the stories that have been downloaded but haven’t been viewed as yet. The app will make use of Facebook’s relevance algorithm to display those posts when users are offline. On returning online, the News Feed of the users will automatically start receiving new stories from Facebook’s server, which will then be displayed in a normal manner.
The app takes into account posts that have been already downloaded but are unread, and when the user refreshes or scrolls through the News Feed, it ranks them with new stories. A feature is also in testing that will allow the app to recover new stories all day while users are on a good connection, the company said.
Targeted at emerging markets
Facebook informed users that this feature and the changes to the News Feed will take some time before they are tested and rolled out. The reason the company said it updated the mobile app with these offline features is the staggering rate at which people in emerging markets are coming online. The credit for much of this growth goes to Facebook.
In 2013, the social networking giant came up with the internet.org project with a goal to connect growing communities around the world to the Internet. In February, the company bought its Internet.org app to India, with the help of which people gained access to the social media platform and other partner services as well.