When Vercel announced in June 2021 that it secured $102M in Series C funding, experts foresaw Next.js taking a big step forward. Clearly, CEO Guillermo Rauch did not want to waste much time. This October, Rauch and the Vercel team launched Next.js 12.

Vercel has become one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the tech industry largely because companies such as McDonald’s, Uber, Facebook and many others deploy Next.js on their frontends. 

So how will Next.js 12 help companies?

1. Faster Refresh and Faster Builds

Next.js 12 includes a brand new Rust compiler, which has led to significant speed increases. According to the Versel blog:

  • Refreshing locally is ~3x faster
  • Builds for production are ~5x faster
  • Compilation using Rust is 17x faster than Babel
  • Using the Rust compiler for minification is 7x faster than Terser
2. “the power of dynamic at the speed of static”

Rauch said this quote when discussing Next.js 12’s innovative combination of Middleware, Vercel’s new API, and Vercel’s Edge Functions, which allow developers to deploy code globally with hardly any lines of code at deploy time. Kevin Van Gundy, Vercel’s CRO, explained,

“When you’re running an A/B experiment, in the world before Middleware, your experiment would carry the bulk of both tests. I have the A test and the B test together. With Middleware, because we’re able to make these choices before that request gets served, we can say, ‘oh, here’s just A or here’s just B and C’ and you get that highly performant experiment...” 

3. Set-Up for React 18

The developer world eagerly awaits the release of React 18. To prepare for React 18’s innovations such as automatic batching of updates and server rendering through a new streaming API, Next.js 12 has these features available under an experimental flag.

As for the future? Rauch recently told Forbes, “One of Vercel's objectives is to make the web faster, better and more collaborative. And one of our goals is to lower the barrier of entry. We think that the web front-end development process itself can be far more collaborative and instantaneous than it currently is.”

At Solwey, we are excited to see what he comes up with next. If you are interested in using Next.js 12, give Solwey a call.