Mobile social media users rejoice.
Facebook announced this week it is working on a feature that will allow users to view new posts in their News Feed and compose comments even when they have a slow or no connection.
According to Facebook, the technological improvement will especially come in handy for the truckloads of users coming online in emerging markets that only offer 2G mobile connections.
“To improve News Feed so it works seamlessly and quickly for people in all parts of the world, we’re focused on designing it to operate well regardless of device or network connection,” the company wrote in a Wednesday post.
Facebook said the new offline feature will work by retrieving the latest stories downloaded to an individual’s device that the person has not yet viewed and ranking them based on relevance. Once a person is back online, new stories will be received from Facebook’s server and ranked normally, the company said.
The company said it is also testing improvements that will periodically retrieve new stories from Facebook’s server when a good connection is present. These stories can then be used in offline mode to “make sure the stories we have available are the most relevant and current,” the company said.
Additionally, Facebook said it will add an offline commenting option that will allow users to compose comments without a connection. The comments will then be stored and posted once the device has an internet connection again.
“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 company wrote. “None of these changes affect News Feed ranking. We are simply showing you the most relevant content as efficiently as possible.”
Facebook did not give a hard date for the implementation of these changes, but said it will be “testing and rolling this out over time to gather feedback.”