Improving Facebook and Instagram in Emerging Markets

Breakout - Upstairs Big 11:00am

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Over the past 18 months, a team of Facebook engineers have been working on the experience of using our flagship apps on Android in emerging markets.

In 2013, we were able to achieve significant improvements in data usage, performance, and app size of Facebook by focusing on scenarios that we identified to be problematic during a trip to Africa earlier that year. In this talk, we'll discuss some the changes we made to the Facebook app that resulted in 65% data usage improvements and 50% efficiency gains over about a 6 month period. 

While these gains were mostly general efficiency improvements that benefited all of of our users, for the second phase of the project we’ve been working on more targeted optimizations. These improvements could be optimized based on type of device, network connection characteristics, or general usage patterns of the app. We’ll delve into some of the details of the system, including an overview of our innovative device- and network-classification technologies, a new configuration system that powers this optimization, and a discussion of our "smart prefetching" technologies. 

The last thing we'll cover is how we improved the speed and performance of Instagram for Android, and share some of the methods we use to maintain a fast and reliable experience.

Tyler Kieft, Instagram

Tyler Kieft has spent the last two years as an engineer working on Instagram for Android, building key features and focusing on usability and performance. Before joining Facebook, he was one of the co-founders of SpeakerText, which leveraged crowdsourcing and machine learning to produce fast, accurate transcriptions of video and audio content.

Alex Sourov,

Sourov is an Engineer Manager on the Facebook's Android Infrastructure team. Over the past two years, he has been leading teams focusing on improving the performance and efficiency of
the Facebook’s Android app, especially in emerging markets. Prior to joining Facebook, Alex worked as a Development Manager in Microsoft Office