Waiting for a web page to load on your phone can take ages, okay maybe 4 to 5 seconds, but that’s more than enough time to close to page out and venture elsewhere. Facebook understand that users want to read articles quickly, all the while staying within the Facebook app. Twitter and Google are teaming up to offer their own ‘Instant Articles’, but with a twist. The companies are working together to help publishers distribute their articles through cached pages that include the original ads.
According to Recode, the tool will create snapshots of the page so users can instantly load the pages. The service will be open source, and unbranded from Google. Google has been charged recently with trying to host more content instead of sending search users to sites. Twitter and Google won’t present their tool as a branded product but as a plan to “accelerated mobile pages.” The plan for Google is be able to serve ads even with ‘instant articles’ as more publishers give their content away to Facebook’s Instant Articles, Apple’s News app, Snapchat’s discover feature, and even Flipboard.
The ‘instant articles’ from Google and Twitter may not have a huge impact on users, but will make a huge difference to publishers who place their articles on these closed platforms. There has been whispers of Facebook, Snapchat, and even Apple trying to kill websites through hosting articles on their own platforms. Even though, Apple and Facebook let publishers keep 100 percent of the revenue for ads they sell on their hosted articles. Few publishers have taken the dive from hosting, controlling, and essentially owning their own content to letting someone else host and control how their articles are seen.
If the tools are in fact open sourced, and open to any publishers, we could see dozens if not a majority of major publishers build this into their articles. As more publishers adopt support for ‘instant articles’ users could come to expect instant load times for every news article they read on the web.
Tell us what you think about Google’s and Twitter’s plan to create an open source tool for ‘instant articles’ in the comments below!