Sara Fischer, of Axios, is reporting today that Meta’s proprietary Instant Articles format will go away in April. This should not be a surprise — Instant Articles does nothing for Meta’s virtual reality efforts, Meta is cutting costs, and Google has been phasing out its commitment to its similar AMP format.
What I find more curious is Fischer’s summary paragraph:
The big picture: Products that debuted years ago to make it easier and faster to load news articles on mobile have been discontinued in the past few months in response to improvements in the mobile web experience that make such platform-specific products obsolete.
I have been thinking about this for hours and looking around for any clue as to what this might be referring to, and I cannot come up with any new technology from the last couple years which would satisfy this claim. 5G? Give me a break; nobody seriously believes the news reading experience on their phone was broken because it was loaded over an LTE connection. I am truly curious. Do you know of anything that fits this description? Let me know.
In reality, both of these products were unnecessary augmentations to the bullshit web. Advertising does not, in of itself, result in slow pages or poor experiences. But there is so much money in the collection and retention of user information that every company wants its slice. The more that is disincentivized, the less perceived need there is for false solutions.