I feel the need... the need for speed!

Friday, April 20, 2012
By: Bryan Atwood

Yes, that just happened.  I just quoted Top Gun.  But Maverick’s words ring as true today at MoPub as they did in 1986 for teenagers with acid-washed jeans.

We’re in the midst of rolling out several interesting product announcements and updates, not in small part based on the excellent feedback from our first Publisher Round Table .  One of these points of focus is the overall ad server and website speed.  We’ve just rolled out some speed improvements that are face-melting.

Ad Serving Speed

We’ve upgraded our serving infrastructure to return ads 50% faster!  Latency can have a major impact on mobile ad performance.  The slower the ads show, the less money an app publisher will make.  And, the worse the performance is for advertisers.  With the optimizations we’ve made, we’ve reduced latency to 200-300ms, which is pretty good considering traffic is coming over 2G and 3G networks.

Site Speed

Many of our publishers are now running dozens of apps on the MoPub platform, making the onsite navigation speed an even more important part of your user experience.  That’s why we made it a top priority to serve every page onsite in one second or under for all publishers .  For the tech geeks out there, we reached this goal through a few different methods:

1. AJAX

Since we know our publishers value comprehensive and reliable data, MoPub pages offer a lot of stats on performance.  We made changes to most of the handlers so that the stats load over AJAX after the page has rendered (mostly via Backbone ).  This helps navigation since you don’t need to wait for all of the data to load before you interact with the site.

2. Image URL Caching

Our publishers have come up with some great app icons, so we wanted to find a different way to generate the image URLs in order to display these icons on the site. To address this, we’re now caching the URL after the initial API call.  Although this may seem like a trivial change, this alone accounted for about 80% reduction in the overall load time.

3. Memcache for Datastore Batch Queries

We’ve modified our memcache interface to the datastore so that it accepts more than one object.  Now our cache system seamlessly performs batch gets and puts, which significantly reduces the number of RPCs to the datastore that can be the slowest part of your application.

We’ve got lots more to do when it comes to site speed, but now that pages load within one second we expect folks to get a lot more work done!

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