I have just read a blog post which comments about the average time it takes to load a page on various social networking sites.
Regarding Facebook it says: “despite its popularity amongst users, the network took the longest to load up.”
Now, I’m not an American teenager, but … well duh!
I think the sentence should be converted to “due to its popularity amongst users, the network took the longest to load up.”
The post also mentions that Faceparty is one of the fastest loading social networks - this is not so surprising if you consider that it was the first social networking site to have mass appeal back in 2000 or so.
Anyone can build a social networking site. The biggest problem with them is to handle the load on the servers when they explode in popularity.
Q. If Google can present a zillion search results in milliseconds, why does Facebook take so long to display a pretty profile?
A. Both search engines and social networking sites have intense load from users’ demanding information retrieval. However, unlike search engines, social networks have the added pressure of users expecting high speed updates of information. Updating information is more intensive than reading information - hence Mark Pors, chief technical officer at WatchMouse, should not be so surprised by the slowness of these social networks.
Update 2008 10 25
Google Chrome - Google’s fine example of a web Browser - has a show processlist feature. In a traditional OS Task manager you just see one process to represent the browser. Google Chrome splits the various aspects of web page/script rendering into individual processes - so we can get a really good view of what’s happening under the bonnet and see which parts of a web site are causing problems. As yet, I have not checked out facebook with it - but it could come in handy if anyone’s interested in it.