Earlier this month, the social network launched its new Instant Articles product, which allows publishers to host articles and videos directly on its service to be viewed on Apple iOS devices. One of the benefits of the product, according to Facebook, is that it enables content to load faster on mobile devices than publishers’ own websites do.
Early data suggest Facebook might be right.
According to web performance monitoring firm Catchpoint Systems, for example, Instant Articles content loads significantly faster than the sites of major news publishers.
The company analysed the load times of the homepages of 50 major online news publishers during a two-hour period Thursday and found they clocked in at an average of 3.66 seconds.
Facebook’s Instant Articles, meanwhile, do in fact appear to load nearly instantly. The Instant Articles analysed by Catchpont Systems loaded on average between 0 milliseconds and 300 milliseconds; much faster than publishers’ own sites.
The reason? Much of the content for Facebook-hosted articles has already been “pre-loaded” before the user even taps on the article they’re trying to reach. Also, Facebook has figured out a way to load other objects such as ads into pages in a way that doesn’t disrupt access to the content itself.
“Facebook has done a lot of work optimising its mobile app for users. Now they’re bringing that to publishers,” said Dritan Suljoti, co-founder and chief product officer of Catchpoint Systems.
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