Report: Facebook’s Instant Articles faster than AMP, both formats boost user engagement

Chartbeat released a report this week that quantifies the benefits of faster mobile page-load times, and specifically of publisher usage of Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles (FIA). Called “The New Speed of Mobile Engagement,” the report seeks to answer some basic questions about the formats:

  • Does improving page load time positively impact readership and revenue?
  • Does it deliver on the promise of a quicker, cleaner mobile user experience?
  • How does AMP compare to Facebook’s Instant Articles format?
  • What is the impact on consumer engagement?

The report concludes that page speed matters to mobile readers and faster pages equal more engagement. The findings are based on Chartbeat’s analysis of user interactions with “360 sites using AMP and FIA from June 2016 to May 2017.”

Chartbeat found that on AMP the median page-load time was 1.4 seconds. By comparison, Facebook’s Instant Articles loaded in a fraction of a second, while the standard mobile web page-load time was over five seconds. However, AMP is driving considerably more traffic from search than Instant Articles, according to Chartbeat: “The number of AMP articles receiving traffic each day is 3x the number of active FIA pages.”

The report also finds that users reward these faster pages with higher engagement: “48 seconds with AMP content vs. 36 seconds with mobile web content when coming from search.” Chartbeat also found that the faster formats were growing their overall share of publisher traffic.

In a parallel finding, website builder Duda validates the Chartbeat conclusion that page speed really matters to users. Sites that load more quickly receive almost 50 percent more “engagement actions” than slow-loading sites. Here “engagement actions” comprises a variety of behaviors, including calls, emails, SMS clicks and form fills.

Faster load times increase mobile engagement 

The company’s CEO Itai Sadan observed, “There is roughly a 10 percent decrease in conversion rate for every additional second it takes a site to load.”


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