Google Chrome is hopeless for reading social media - Preliminary findings below

I am currently undertaking a comparison of 6 Web Browsers which will eventually be turned into an article of my findings - most likely once Microsoft Edge has been reincarnated into the planned Chromium based platform.

In the meantime, thought I'd share a preliminary finding that is quite definitive when reading Social Media - Facebook in particular.

Using Google Chrome on Windows 10 (64-bit) in my case, you may be finding that if browsing Facebook for a while, as you keep scrolling down your feed, it will get slower, and slower, and slower, until the point where is gets so frustratingly slow, that you end up closing Chrome completely, re-opening it and starting again, at which point speed returns to normal.

Sound familiar? Keep reading.

Doing the same tests with the Brave Browser, I have noted none of the noticeable slow downs in performance of Facebook pages when used for the the same amount of time. The same has proven true to some extent on YouTube, though tests on YouTube and other social media platforms have not been as extensive yet.

My preliminary finding is as follows: Dump Chrome for Social Media like Facebook and YouTube and use the Brave browser for that purpose instead. It makes a *huge* difference on my system.

For the sake of completeness, by "quite some time", I'm talking reading and interacting with your Facebook feed for over an hour - my tests were based on close to two hours of use without closing my Facebook Tab in both browsers.

Hope that helps a few of you out.

Cheers, Andrew

Note: To gain the full benefit of the above conclusion, you should temporarily make Brave the default browser, otherwise some links you click will open up your default browser (Chrome?) when you click on them. Other browsers yet to be tested.
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Expert Comment

by:Martin Nguyen
Will you be posting Task Manager-esque data of how much RAM and Disk usage the browsers are using over long sessions? Sounds interesting!
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Leniart
Will you be posting Task Manager-esque data of how much RAM and Disk usage the browsers are using over long sessions? Sounds interesting!

Great idea Martin and no, I haven't been taking notes of those figures, I will start to add those stats to my findings database now as I think that would be of interest to many. It's an exercise I'm spending quite a bit of time on and the results are proving quite interesting, dispelling a lot of (what I consider to be) myths being posted all over the web about a variety of browsers.

For further info, the browsers I'm doing comparisons on (all latest versions) are:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Edge (Now paused until the new release)
  • FireFox
  • Google Chrome
  • Brave
  • Vivaldi (just added to the list by request of a reader)

I've been getting some interesting comparison results so far, but there's still a lot more work to do and its quite a time consuming process.. Glad you find it interesting. That gives me hope that others will also :)

Thanks for your input.

Regards, Andrew
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by:ModeIT
more curious as how much RAM you have on the system,

chrome on win 7 for me experiences no slow downs.   facebook is  open 24/7 along with gmail and EE, and amazon video,  i havent closed chrome in weeks.  but i have 32 GB of RAM

MIT
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Leniart
Hi MIT,

Thank you for your interest. I have 20GB of RAM on the testing box (typing on it right now) all internal drives are SSD and a dedicated 2GB graphics card. There is always a minimum of 30% of unused Physical RAM available (when I have my VMs open) and usually 60% or more is available in general, so it's not a RAM issue here.

Have you ever noticed on FB that if you right click on something, it takes a couple of seconds to respond? Or menus may take longer to appear when you hover? Or if you start to scroll down FB with the Page Down button, there are pauses? They're the types of slow downs I'm talking about. It requires continuous use though. I too experience no problems if I only interact with FB for 30 minutes or so.

Very interested to hear your reply to the above questions?

Best, Andrew

Edit to add: Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) here. Current wide 1809 release and build.
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by:ModeIT
"Have you ever noticed on FB that if you right click on something, it takes a couple of seconds to respond? "

Not really, usually it loads instantly to under a second,

if i just hold the  down button, after a few minutes it does become jumpy but doesn't hesitate just more leaves of frames of time when the page scrolls, it'll go from the bottom up inch by inch it looks like instead of the constant scroll.

I associated most of the slowdowns that i do ever get (it does rarely become slow) to internet speed as my provider seems to throttle the connection (they claim otherwise)

I do notice slowdowns on the facebook app on mobile phone. usually on slower networks, and after longer time using the app.

MIT
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by:Scott Fell
I manage multiple FB business pages and am on FB a lot. I don't notice any slowness except when my internet is poor (like when I am in the country)

I downloaded Brave. It is a Chromium browser with ad blocking and that is why it seems faster.   I looked at some others that did a write up and it seems it is faster (because of the ad blocking) but not the speed up it shows.  

Perhaps it would be good to explain what is does, the motivation for publishers etc and that it is in infancy, something to watch for.
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by:Andrew Leniart
Thanks for your interest Scott.

I don't notice any slowness except when my internet is poor (like when I am in the country)

I initially put it down to that until I started doing browser comparisons. Internet speed can certainly be a factor but it doesn't make sense (to me) why FB reduces itself to a crawl after a couple of hours of 'continuous use', yet if Chrome is completely closed out and reopened - speed and page response times instantly return to normal. How would you explain that?

I downloaded Brave. It is a Chromium browser with ad blocking and that is why it seems faster.   I looked at some others that did a write up and it seems it is faster (because of the ad blocking) but not the speed up it shows.

Yep, good point and one I've taken into consideration. I've used two add-blockers with Chrome - uBlock Origin and AdBlock Plus and have even had them set to their highest levels. If it's ads that are causing the problem, then either Brave has an outstanding ad blocker that far exceeds the performance of the two third party ones I've used, (only one at a time of course) or those two ad blockers are the cause of the slow downs. Nothing else makes sense to me. What's your take on that?

Perhaps it would be good to explain what is does, the motivation for publishers etc and that it is in infancy, something to watch for.

A bit beyond my skill set unfortunately. I'm doing these comparison exercises from a user standpoint - the internals of the browsers and how they work I only have a very elementary understanding of.

Thanks for your input into this - appreciated.

Regards, Andrew
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