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Facebook now re-ranks News Feed stories in real time on the client side

Facebook’s efforts to make News Feed more accessible to all users regardless of the speed or reliability of their internet connections has led to a change in how stories are ranked. For brands, publishers and marketers using Facebook, it means that speed is more important than ever.

To understand the change, it helps to first know how News Feed stories used to be ranked. In the past, when a user visited Facebook, the ranking for all possible News Feed stories was calculated on Facebook’s servers and sent to the user in the exact order that Facebook’s algorithm decided was best. The problem was that it didn’t take into account the speed or strength of a user’s internet connection. Last December, Facebook announced that it was changing News Feed to accomodate users with slower connections — but the ranking of stories was still happening on Facebook’s servers.