When you’re browsing the web or reading online content from your smartphone, it’s important that pages load quickly. How annoying is it when someone shares something on Facebook and you tap that link… and wait? Frustrating sometimes doesn’t cover it. This is a common problem the world over, as mobile browsing and access to information becomes increasingly popular and there are many areas where speeds are just plain slow.

For our sites and our customers’ sites, we want everyone to be able to access content and load pages as quickly as possible. And we’re not alone.

Over the past month or so, several technologies and services have become available to help provide improved user experiences on mobile devices when accessing news and blog content. These focus on either improved speed, an improved reading experience or a combination of both.

Apple, Facebook and Google have all made improvements available, and we’re happy to have implemented all of these across all our sites and services.

Apple News Format

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If you’re an Apple iOS device user (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch), the Apple News app available in the App Store has been made available to all publishers. Apple also created the new Apple News Format for publishers to provide their content with images and in a more engaging format with consistent styling. Apple News allows you to read your news and blog post content in one place without having to hunt it down or move from app to app. It can also recommend new content based on what it learns you like. The more you read, the more it learns and the better it can help you find new news sources.

If you use Apple News, you can read this blog as well as the Popup Weddings blog, freshly formatted. Yum!

Facebook Instant Articles

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Many publishers share their posts to Facebook. We do. Who wouldn’t? It allows people to easily recommend interesting content with their friends by sharing content quickly. Most users access Facebook from a mobile device, and many of those user the Facebook app. News articles and blog posts opened via the app will keep users inside the app to view the page, but, acknowledging that mobile users want need content to load quickly, Facebook have worked with leading publishers around the world to create Facebook Instant Articles.

Instant Articles is a format which loads content in the Facebook app up to ten times faster, which has been independently tested and confirmed. How cool is that? It also improves the reading experience by providing a consistent, rich publishing format which will soon become familiar for Facebook users.

Now available to anybody who publishes content, we’ve implemented Facebook Instant Articles for our blogs and our customers blogs, when sharing via Facebook. Users don’t need to turn anything on or do anything differently, it’s automatic.

Google AMP

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Where Apple and Facebook have their own platforms, Google is interested in (linking to) the whole internet, and they also recognise that mobile devices are increasingly important for access to content. Enter the AMP project, or Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Backed by Google, AMP is an open source initiative to create a lightweight, fast way to publish news and blog posts which are available to mobile devices. This typically removes headers and footers, adverts and sidebars to provide a stripped down page which loads very quickly for mobile viewers.

AMP has been enabled for our blogs and all our customer blogs and, like Facebook Instant Articles, is automatic – there’s nothing to do, all the posts will just load more quickly on mobile devices. 👍🏼