Social networking sites slow and inaccessible: WatchMouse

MUMBAI: Popular social networking sites fail to deliver to their users, according to WatchMouse.

Research from the Netherlands-based website monitoring company has shown that Web 2.0 sites often are slow to open or fail to load properly.

WatchMouse monitored the time it took the social networking sites, listed on Wikipedia to load. The results showed that the worst for availability is the immensely popular Facebook.


Other well-known culprits include Twitter,, Windows Live Spaces, Friendster and Of the 104 sites monitored, 51 show a Site Performance Index (SPI) of 1000 or more, making them very slow in load time.

This, the company says, is a remarkable outcome, seeing as most sites heavily use Ajax, which should lead to quicker load times since the dynamics of the site do not load immediately. Using Ajax should help websites increase interactivity, speed, functionality and usability by exchanging small amounts of data with the server so the entire webpage does not need loading fully every time someone performs an action on a page.

Of the monitored social networking sites, Faceparty performed the best - with an SPI of 303 - meaning users can access the site most frequently and in the fastest time. Looking at the results, most sites still have a lot to work on if they want their users to keep returning to their sites. Most web users are very impatient and will wait no longer than four seconds for a webpage to load, shows research.

Watchmouse CTO Mark Pors says, “It is interesting to see that popular networking sites turn out to have very bad performance. It is surprising that they still have such a big fan base when they serve their users so badly. Using Ajax technology, they should be able to work more effectively. For now, the sites will need to do a lot of work to remain popular and improve their performance.”

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