Deploy360 24 April 2015

Facebook News Feeds Load 20-40% Faster Over IPv6

By Dan YorkDirector, Internet Technology

Facebook logoWant to read your Facebook News Feed faster?  Ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if you can get IPv6!  That’s one of the key quotes to me in this article published this month on ComputerWorld:

As for the speed boost that may come with IPv6, it’s too early to say whether you’ll see it or not. Facebook says it has seen users’ News Feeds loading 20 percent to 40 percent faster on mobile devices using IPv6. Tests at Time Warner Cable have shown a 15 percent boost.

Now, yes, there is the caveat from Facebook’s Paul Saab that they are “still trying to clarify the data” and understand exactly why IPv6 users are seeing the speed increase. (And Paul explains further starting about 19 minutes into his recent v6 World Congress presentation.)

But to me this is simply a sign of what is coming.

Facebook has been extremely smart about all of this.  As they outlined in a case study last year, they are moving to an IPv6-only network internally. Their developers are already working on an IPv6-only network, as Paul Saab discussed in a presentation last month to the 2015 v6 World Congress. In that presentation he said that 90% of their network was IPv6-only and they expect to move to 100% by the end of this quarter.

They realize that many of the new networks being deployed around the world to bring the next 4 billion people online are going to need to be using IPv6.  And the expansion of mobile networks to accommodate the millions of new devices will need to use IPv6 (as is already happening!).

And the reality is that connections from users on IPv6 networks to services that run over IPv6 are going to be faster than connections to services still on legacy IPv4 networks that have to go through middleboxes such as NAT devices or application-layer gateways (ALGs).

Facebook wants to provide the fastest connectivity to the billions of new users and devices coming on line.  They want to be reached faster than all the other social networks and messaging services.  They’ve already made the move to IPv6 in anticipation of being able to be faster than all their rivals.  Smart on their part!

While we still need to wait for a thorough analysis by Facebook’s team to know exactly why they are seeing the speed increases, the fact is that those increases are happening.

Don’t have IPv6 yet?  Ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) why not!

And ask yourself this – does your application or service run over IPv6?  Could people perhaps access your services faster if they were available over IPv6?

Visit our Start Here page to learn how you can do more with IPv6. The time is now.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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