Performance of social networking sites — Index from Keynote Systems for January 2013

By Robert Castley

The social media sites were, on average, slower in January than they were in December – with seven out of the nine sites monitored taking longer to load than during the previous month. Facebook continued to take a tumble in the rankings in January as it fell to fifth place, with a load time of 1.78 seconds, compared to 1.2 seconds in December, and 0.81 seconds in November. This shows a worrying slow down of nearly a whole second (0.97s) over the 3 month period.

In terms of availability – the chances of a website loading correctly when visited – the websites also struggled in January. Only six out of the nine sites monitored had an availability of more than 99 percent, compared to eight out of the nine sites in December. Twitter, in particular, suffered as it fell from third to sixth place. First place for availability went to Friends Reunited in January (99.96 percent), an improvement from fifth place in December.

The performance results for the social media sites in January were disappointing. On both speed to load, and success in loading, the results were less impressive than previous months, which indicates that things are moving in the wrong direction. There could be several reasons for this, and considering the impressive performance of websites in December, social media sites may have geared up for an increase in activity over the festive season, and scaled down too much once it was over. It is important to forecast demand to provide the best service to customers, but companies need to remember that social media on the whole, is becoming more popular, and is therefore likely to demand faster speeds and better reliability as time goes on.

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About the author:

Robert Castley has been a solutions consultant at internet testing and monitoring specialist Keynote, for over three years. Prior to working at Keynote, Robert worked as a Professional Services Consultant at a document management company, Macro 4, where he worked on developing custom web interfaces. He regularly engages with customers and has an in-depth technical knowledge in web development. One of his proudest achievements is developing one of the world’s most popular Open Source Content Management Systems to the masses – Mambo, which now lives on as Joomla!

Robert is an authoritative spokesperson on web performance and regularly participates in industry events on the topic. Robert is passionate about the need to provide the optimum experience for internet users, irrelevant of the device they are using. He advocates a ‘three screen approach’ that provides a consistent experience whether a website is being accessed via mobile, tablet or desktop computer.

About the company:

Keynote Systems is the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud monitoring. It provides companies with solutions for continuously improving the online experience. Founded in 1995, Keynote provides testing, monitoring and measurement products and services for any enterprise including online portals, e-commerce sites, B2B sites, mobile operators and mobile infrastructure providers. Keynote products and services help companies improve customer experience in four areas: Web performance, mobile quality, streaming and real user experience testing.

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