Native Image Lazy Loading in Chrome Is Way Too Eager

Programming - Mar 31, 2024

Interesting research from Aaron Peters on <img loading="lazy" ... >:

On my 13 inch macbook, with Dock positioned on the left, the viewport height in Chrome is 786 pixels so images with loading="lazy" that are more than 4x the viewport down the page are eagerly fetched by Chrome on page load.

In my opinion, that is waaaaay too eager. Why not use a lower threshold value like 1000 pixels? Or even better: base the threshold value on the actual viewport height.

My guess is they chose not to over-engineer the feature by default and will improve it over time. By choosing a fairly high threshold, they ran a lower risk of it annoying users with layout shifts on pages with images that don’t use width/height attributes.

I think this unmerged Pull Request is the closest thing we have to a spec and it uses language like “scrolled into the viewport” which suggests no threshold at all.

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