Web performance and Facebook's Instant Articles
John Gruber wrote down his initial thoughts on Facebook's Instant Articles. This portion regarding performance stood out:
I’m intrigued by the emphasis on speed. Not only is native mobile code winning for app development, but with things like Instant Articles, native is making the browser-based web look like a relic even just for publishing articles. If I’m right about that, it might pose a problem even for my overwhelmingly-text work at Daring Fireball. Daring Fireball pages load fast, but the pages I link to often don’t. I worry that the inherent slowness of the web and ill-considered trend toward over-produced web design is going to start hurting traffic to DF.
Maybe I can't see past my web developer bias, but I don't believe this is a death knell for the "open web." I think this is a wake-up call; there is no reason that Instant Articles should have such a speed advantage over a webpage.
Crafting a high-performing web experience for mobile is not easy, but it's not so impossibly hard that Instant Articles is the only solution. With Instant Articles, Facebook is saving publishers from themselves - notice the lack of advertising, over-the-top branding, or massive image slideshows. Instant Articles isn't faster because native beats the web. It's faster because disciplined, curated content wins over content shoved between 1MB of advertisements.
Sorry, last tweet ate the image link. Here’s why Instant Articles is so much faster. pic.twitter.com/e3Iyv5r58C— Adam Simpson (@a_simpson) May 14, 2015