Facebook to start ranking web pages that load faster higher in News Feed

Facebook has announced it will be rolling out some new changes to its News Feed; increasing links distribution to faster loading web pages. Meaning web pages that load slowly or bogged down by ads or other things will certainly be getting fewer clicks. These changes will also affect Facebook’s Instant Article format.

The changes to News Feed will roll out gradually over the next few months, giving publishers amble time to make the needed adjustments to their sites. However, it does pick some curiosity that Facebook remains quiet on whether or not its Instant Articles will also be affected.

Then again Facebook introduced that feature to make the reading of articles shared on the platform via link load up fast. The Instant Article format strips down the web page, removing extraneous code that bogs down mobile web pages, in addition to restricting the number of ads a page can display. Those are just a few of the tweaks Facebook does to mobile pages to make them load faster when viewed under Instant Articles.

The reservations some publishers have about Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook intentions were to make reading news stories via Instant Articles faster and better for users on mobile. However, the feature has failed to become universally acceptable to some publishers, as they (publishers) feel shortchanged by the platform.

To address publishers’ reservations, Facebook has since moved ground to allow more ads on Instant Articles. It restored subscription options by introducing a Page Like, and email sign-up button and the company is said to be currently working on a subscription paywall to be released this fall.

Does it mean Facebook will rank Instant Article higher?

With the upcoming News Feed changes, one would rightfully assume that Instant Article having met pretty much all the standards Facebook wants publishers to meet, they will be ranking higher. However, the company came out to say that it will not be necessarily ranking Instant Articles any higher than any fast-loading web page. Then again, publisher already using Instant Articles will not have to worry about losing clicks; if anything they will gain as Facebook down-rates the slow sites.

We are not making this update to prioritize Instant Articles. We are making this update in response to what people have told us. We know that faster loading webpages are better experience for people, both on Facebook and across the internet,” said a spokesperson from Facebook to TechCrunch.

Felix Omondi

Kenyan citizen with a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. In my spare time, I like to blog and read up on trends that's happening around the world.

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