Facebook launched its long-awaited Instant Articles program early Tuesday. The initiative lets mobile app users read complete articles and stories that are published directly on the social network. One reason why the program may end up being so popular is because of the traditionally poor user experience with in-app browsing. (For non-geeks: that browser you see within a mobile app, which directs you to a webpage without leaving the app? That's an in-app link.)
In-app browsing has been a woefully slow area of innovation. Matt Roper tweeted proof of as much on Wednesday:
Compare and contrast: Facebook instant articles vs Twitter link pic.twitter.com/IlNCg68fYw— Matt Roper (@mattjroper) May 13, 2015
In the video, Roper compares load times between Facebook's Instant Articles on the left and an in-app Twitter link on the right. The result is impossible to miss: you can't even see the browser page on Twitter load for a couple of seconds.