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Several months ago, Facebook announced "Instant Articles," a new platform for publishers that aimed to speed up the loading times of articles when browsing on the Facebook iOS app, but it was limited to a small number of iPhone users. As of today, Facebook's Instant Articles are rolling out to all iOS users and should be showing up in Facebook timelines starting now.

With Instant Articles, publishers are able to host their posts and stories on the Facebook servers, which are able to load linked articles up to 10 times faster than a separate web app. The platform also includes several interactive tools like photo zooming, maps, auto play videos, audio captions, comments, and more, plus it lets publishers access analytics tools to measure article traffic.

According to Facebook, its users are more likely to read and share content that loads instantly, and content that gets a lot of shares is beneficial to publishers as it ranks higher in the Facebook News Feed.


Several major publications have signed up to use Facebook's Instant Article platform, including The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel, Bild, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Business Insider, Fox Sports, MLB, Hollywood Reporter, The Onion, The Verge, TIME, and more.

Instant Articles are highlighted in the iOS Facebook feed with a lightning bolt icon, letting users know which content has the special formatting.

Article Link: Facebook's Instant Articles Feature Now Rolling Out to All iOS Users
 

Agent OrangeZ

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,913
2,656
Planet Earth
So, Facebook is going to waste my bandwidth and data cap to cache adverts (sorry, 'promoted articles'). Yet another reason to just bookmark Facebook in Safari instead of installing their awful app.
You are right! Facebook has wronged you! I suggest you contact them and DEMAND a refund of whatever you paid them to use the service!
 

Fzang

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2013
1,314
1,081
Interesting that Facebook doesn't load links in Safari, but instead uses its own browser that doesn't support ad blocking. Veeeery interesting.
 

jpgr15

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2015
528
992
Talk about an over engineered fix to keep their users in their data collecting hands.

How about just let me open links from the app in Safari. Just another reason the mobile version is better.

I think this is great. I use the app a lot and there's nothing more frusterating than waiting for an article to load.
*prepares for the anti-facebook crowd*

Links load much faster in Safari than Facebook's watered down browsing app. They created this problem by not just letting Safari do the work.
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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Links load much faster in Safari than Favebook's watered down browsing app. They created this problem by not just letting Safari do the work.

You do realize that the Facebook app uses the same web kit to open it, right? It's essentially Safari within the app. So yes, Facebook is allowing Safari to "do the work".

No one rewrites their own in-app browser from scratch because it's far simpler and more efficient to use the one built into the iOS SDK.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
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Interesting that Facebook doesn't load links in Safari, but instead uses its own browser that doesn't support ad blocking. Veeeery interesting.
Like many apps it simply used the iOS webview that is Safari based. There's an updated version of it that is somewhat different and apps are encouraged to switch over to it.
 

jpgr15

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2015
528
992
You do realize that the Facebook app uses the same web kit to open it, right? It's essentially Safari within the app. So yes, Facebook is allowing Safari to "do the work".

No one rewrites their own in-app browser from scratch because it's far simpler and more efficient to use the one built into the iOS SDK.

No, but I'm not a developer. There is a marked difference in load times between Facebook's in app browser and Safari so whatever is happening is wrong. There's nothing wrong with preferring Safari to open links over any in app experience.
 

bushido

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Mar 26, 2008
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let me use MOST RECENT as default! I dont know a single person on this planet who ever uses the "Top News" crap that makes no sense whatsoever with its random algo.

I tried using the web version of FB but that caused my data to go through the roof. probably because it does not cache the previous loaded content unlike the app
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
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let me use MOST RECENT as default! I dont know a single person on this planet who ever uses the "Top News" crap that makes no sense whatsoever with its random algo.

I tried using the web version of FB but that caused my data to go through the roof. probably because it does not cache the previous loaded content unlike the app
It's not going to happen. You jus have to select the most recent feed whenever you want it.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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No, but I'm not a developer. There is a marked difference in load times between Facebook's in app browser and Safari so whatever is happening is wrong. There's nothing wrong with preferring Safari to open links over any in app experience.

Other than it adds a significant amount of additional load time to launch a link in Safari and moving back with the app takes additional time and resources as you're switching between apps (also means additional time to reload any lost data in the initial swap). In the end it means a far worse experience for the user.

let me use MOST RECENT as default! I dont know a single person on this planet who ever uses the "Top News" crap that makes no sense whatsoever with its random algo.

I tried using the web version of FB but that caused my data to go through the roof. probably because it does not cache the previous loaded content unlike the app

The average Facebook user would now see over 1500 updates a day if they didn't surface the Top News. People aren't going to scroll through all of those updates. They moved to Top News because people were beginning to have a poor experience because of the sheer number of updates. Now instead they show you things based on what you want to see.

If you aren't happy with what you're seeing there, stop clicking 'Like' every time someone posts baby pictures you didn't really want to see. Facebook knows you better than you know yourself.
 
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jpgr15

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2015
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Other than it adds a significant amount of additional load time to launch a link in Safari and moving back with the app takes additional time and resources as you're switching between apps (also means additional time to reload any lost data in the initial swap). In the end it means a far worse experience for the user.

I'm sorry, I forgot you know my browsing/usage habits better than I do.

My sincerest apologies.
 

bushido

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The average Facebook user would now see over 1500 updates a day if they didn't surface the Top News. People aren't going to scroll through all of those updates. They moved to Top News because people were beginning to have a poor experience because of the sheer number of updates. Now instead they show you things based on what you want to see.

If you aren't happy with what you're seeing there, stop clicking 'Like' every time someone posts baby pictures you didn't really want to see. Facebook knows you better than you know yourself.

dont think so. everyone i know bitches about it plus it doesnt even make sense. "2 hours ago" then theres sth from "3 days ago" before theres random stuff from an hour mixed in between. it doesnt get my taste and never will. it doesnt even consider actual friends or people. most is just crap from sites for obvious ad revenue reasons
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
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The average Facebook user would now see over 1500 updates a day if they didn't surface the Top News. People aren't going to scroll through all of those updates. They moved to Top News because people were beginning to have a poor experience because of the sheer number of updates. Now instead they show you things based on what you want to see.

If you aren't happy with what you're seeing there, stop clicking 'Like' every time someone posts baby pictures you didn't really want to see. Facebook knows you better than you know yourself.
Although there's some factor that is based on what you supposedly want to see (or basically what Facebook might think you might want to see), most of it is based on what they want you to see (for whatever reason). Facebook might know whatever Facebook knows, but they can definitely give the user's the option to choose their sorting method that sticks, they just don't want to do it.
 
let me use MOST RECENT as default! I dont know a single person on this planet who ever uses the "Top News" crap that makes no sense whatsoever with its random algo.

I like it. Sure, maybe the algorithms can be improved upon but I would much rather have *some* sort of algorithm based on post popularity and my interaction with the individual than simply a straight stream of whatever is randomly happening to all of my "friends". I have over 1,000 friends I do NOT need to see a current stream of posts for all 1,000+ of them... Show me what I care about.

Although there's some factor that is based on what you supposedly want to see (or basically what Facebook might think you might want to see), most of it is based on what they want you to see (for whatever reason). Facebook might know whatever Facebook knows, but they can definitely give the user's the option to choose their sorting method that sticks, they just don't want to do it.

Why would facebook have an agenda on whether they show me my friends vacation pics, my sister's newborn pics, or a post of my coworker complaining about politics? Don't be absurd. They have an agenda about ads, sure, but with regards to showing my friends posts, it's in facebook's best interest to show me the things that I want to see. That will keep me coming back. THAT'S their agenda.
 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Why would facebook have an agenda on whether they show me my friends vacation pics, my sister's newborn pics, or a post of my coworker complaining about politics? Don't be absurd. They have an agenda about ads, sure, but with regards to showing my friends posts, it's in facebook's best interest to show me the things that I want to see. That will keep me coming back. THAT'S their agenda.
Showing me something from a few days ago mixed in with something from a few minutes ago and another thing from 18 hours ago isn't something I want to see, in particular since I already saw most of those things, especially from days ago. So either it's something they feel they want to show me for whatever reason, or it's something that isn't working right on their part, or it's something that is working right but is based on something that they got wrong--in any of those cases, a lot of it is not something I want to see (especially since I already saw it too).

And again, even that said, none of that relates to them not providing for a way to make the most recent sort as the default option for someone that might want it. It's simply them not wanting to do it.
I like it. Sure, maybe the algorithms can be improved upon but I would much rather have *some* sort of algorithm based on post popularity and my interaction with the individual than simply a straight stream of whatever is randomly happening to all of my "friends". I have over 1,000 friends I do NOT need to see a current stream of posts for all 1,000+ of them... Show me what I care about.
And that is perfectly fine, that's why things like options exist--you can select what works best for you (which means absolutely nothing as far as what works for someone else).
 
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jozeppy26

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2008
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St. Louis
Speaking as someone who is on Sprint's slow network, I greatly appreciate this. At least 2 or 3 times a day I exit a link I tried to open in Facebook because it was taking far too long to load than I was willing to wait.
 
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MrXiro

macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
3,846
597
Los Angeles
Speaking as someone who is on Sprint's slow network, I greatly appreciate this. At least 2 or 3 times a day I exit a link I tried to open in Facebook because it was taking far too long to load than I was willing to wait.
Hit the share button and open in Safari. I've been doing it a lot lately. Freezing on links happens often now.
 
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