Infinite scrolling is a web interaction design technique that allows web users to scroll without ever reloading the page or clicking on any page links. Therefore, new page content is automatically loaded and additional data is fetched via AJAX and loaded onto the same page even before the user gets to that point. This technique has been successfully integrated into various social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Every new technological innovation has its advantages and disadvantages and infinite scroll is not an exception. It has its pros and cons both from SEO and usability perspective.
Better content exposure
It helps to retain users on one page without refreshing it thus allowing your visitors to view a lot of content.
Easy and fast browsing
Infinite scrolling improves the page speed (Load time) especially for pages that have a lot of content. This is mainly because more content is loaded automatically onto the same page as the visitor scrolls down. Besides eliminating the need for reloading pages and clicking on links, infinite pages save time which is not only good from SEO or users perspective.
Infinite scrolling is a great way of delivering image-heavy web content because visitors will not be distracted from their pleasant experience by clicking the next link. Flickr and Pinterest are some great examples of how infinite scrolling is beneficial especially to visual oriented websites.
This has proven to be a big issue for most ecommerce websites. Most people who make online purchases know that all the important links are normally located in the page footer. Therefore, it would be quite difficult to find such links on infinite scrolling webpages. Moreover, finding and clicking on such links is very annoying especially when you have just a few seconds because infinite scroll makes it very difficult to view the link.
Infinite scrolling makes it very difficult for visitors to understand exactly where they are in the website’s hierarchy at a given point.
Therefore, infinite scrolling is an elegant technique and solution especially for websites that have a massive flow of content that is updated on a continuous basis such as a list of comments or your twitter feed.