The world’s best social networking platform just got better

One of the biggies when it comes to search engines in terms of usage and preference is Google. The formula (read algorithm) that is used by Google for searching what a user is looking for changes hundreds of times in a single year. Last year, the company updated this algorithm thereby giving more weightage to online portals that were mobile friendly. This update has huge implications for the entire online business community and for those portals that are not mobile friendly, it is time to shape up or ship out. Realising how this affects those portals that are not mobile optimised but are paying them for clicks, Facebook has kickstarted a slew of measures to set things right.

Facebook has also cited recent studies which clearly indicate that a mobile site that fails to load within three seconds will end up losing upto 40% of it’s potential customers. To start off, they are urging these afiliated mobile sites to follow tried and tested techniques like compression of files and avoiding redirects & plugins as much as possible to help matters. Taking a cue from Google, Facebook is also getting these sites to do away with any kind of javascript that delays the immediate loading of the site. It is also recommending that these afiliates use a network of proxy servers (Content Distribution Networks aka CDNs) for effective delivery of content.

From it’s end, Facebook has devised a method using which it is able to ‘prefetch’ HTML content from those advertisements which a user is more likely to click on. To aid third party vendors and advertisers in identifying these prefetch requests, Facebook has added a header as a new feature. If what they claim is correct, this one feature itself can reduce time taken to load a site by a whopping nine seconds. To avoid redirects away from Facebook, it is encouraging advertisers to make as much use of ‘Canvas Ads’ as possible. Canvas Ads have three big pluses, they load instantly, grab your attention from the word go and are so short that they get over before you can swipe your fingers across the screen to close them. And the content loads upto ten times faster than the normal ones.

The most telling of all the strategies adopted by Facebook is the one to prioritise advertisements based on factors like performance of a website and the type of network connection that a user has. What that means is that mobile sites that take inordinately long to load will enjoy lesser visibility on Facebook and will be slowly but surely phased out. Many of these websites which are not mobile friendly are losing out on business, only they do not know it yet. This will hopefully send out a strong message to all those who are ignorant that they are bleeding. That time is running out and fast.

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