Google AMP Vs Facebook Articles: Where Do You Invest?
AMP vs Facebook Articles: Facebook Instant Articles (FIA) is a format that allows publishers to have articles on the Facebook app which load very fast compared to the normal mobile web.
Accelerated Mobile Pages share are similar to the FIA, only it is a product of Google. Both were developed with the aim of having web pages load faster.
What Makes Them faster?
1. The page is not usually part of the main website of the publisher. It is a page on its own, making it less bulky for the viewer.
2. The content reaches the internet user with no kind of modifications done to it that is the content is static.
3. Use of a content delivery network to cache, to bring them closer to the searcher.
For FIA, the articles appear on Facebook’s newsfeed, though are written by third-party publishers.
The AMP articles usually appear on a search engine results page upon having keywords keyed into the search engine.
To have your articles appearing on both FIA and AMP, you would need to have the articles in different formats, which is a setback for them.
AMP vs Facebook Articles
In May 2017, there were 2 billion AMP pages on the internet, whereas a year ago, there were 125 million of these AMP pages.
This shows the great increase in them, making them a force to reckon with in distribution of articles by publishers.
They both take less than a second to load and useless data that the average mobile page. This is what attracts publishers to have their articles distributed through these platforms.
The two are in competition based on their selling the same idea. So how are they doing and which is better than the other?
AMP vs Facebook Articles: Speed
The speed of the pages is most important as it is what sets the FIA and AMP apart from others.
In terms of speed, research shows that the average mobile article takes about 5 seconds to load; the AMP takes a little over a second to load while the FIA leads in loading speeds taking 0.001 seconds to load.
If you were to try and measure the FIA speeds practically, by clicking on an article and having it load while you timed it, you would most likely be unable to measure due to its speed.
This kind of speed is very fast for the FIA. Any publisher would jump at the opportunity to have their content shown in such a manner, loading less than a second after the viewer gets to it.
It sets them apart, leaving its counterpart, AMP struggling to cover this space and improve their speeds.
AMP has been seen to venture into ‘first content paint’ which refers to the part of a webpage that is important.
This means that the browser would load the important part, such as the text in the article making it faster and more accessible to the users as they await the rest of the content.
However, FIA still remains above AMP in terms of speed.
AMP vs Facebook Articles: Viewership
The volume of viewed articles also varies for AMP and FIA. The number of times an article is viewed is very important for the publishers that share their content on these platforms.
The publishers may have to reproduce content on the different platforms, on their website and their apps as well, which then means the volume is crucial.
According to the publishers that have used both AMP and FIA, AMP tends to record more views than FIA. This puts AMP on top of the list when it comes to viewership with about three times the number of views for FIA.
This points to the possibility that the content from AMP receives traffic for a longer time than that from FIA.
A possible reason to explain these findings may be that Facebook is primarily a social media site. As such, it is not as keen on distributing articles by publishers as often.
Doing this may have it loose its users in favor of a better social media site. They still strive to have their users stay longer on the app and visit it more frequently by having them access videos, photos and connect with friends and family.
They do have articles by publishers posted on their site but remain first and foremost a social media site. Thus the interests of Facebook collide with those of publishers, unlike for Google’s own AMP which shares interests with the publishers.
This low number of views on the FIA platform proves to be a challenge for Facebook. To combat it, Facebook has made efforts towards extending its Software Development Kit.
This enables articles that are produced for FIA to be compatible with Google allowing the ability to publish them as AMP articles.
This would also address the problem where publishers need to have different formats to publish content on different platforms.
AMP vs Facebook Articles: Reachability
AMP and FIA have different reach on the internet. They both have a different audience. To begin with, FIA is hosted by the Facebook app.
This means it is only accessible when on the Facebook app and not by random searches on the internet.
The articles appear in the newsfeed on the Facebook app. FIA is not discoverable on any third party apps or sites as well.
AMP, on the other hand, is accessible even straight from a search engine. Articles that publishers place on AMP tend to reach people on the open web.
AMP also contains features that support interactive pages. It works with other sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
Publishers can, therefore, build one page that works for all instead of different pages for different platforms.
AMP vs Facebook Articles: Monetization
This happens to be a great area of concern for publishers on both AMP and FIA. Both platforms tend to have restrictions on the kind of ads supported. They both speak of giving the best user experience to their clients hence the restrictions.
AMP, however, tends to give the publishers more control over sales on their pages, making it a bit better than its competitor, FIA.
Facebook’s FIA has less traffic, which further brings down its monetization ability. Having higher ad rates for FIA would not work due to the traffic that is less than that of AMP.
An added advantage of using Google is that it tends to cache AMP pages only, and advertises them in mobile search. They usually get first priority over the pages that are not AMP.
Using these platforms is an added advantage to the publisher of course as the speed of loading for each Amp and FIA is remarkable.
Yet they do face one major setback which is that they miss out on traffic that would have been directed to their own sites and apps.
This occurs since the viewer is not taken to the website as the page exists away from the actual site. You would, therefore, be unable to control all the ad revenue from these platforms.
The two continue to enhance their performance over time and as such we should expect more improvements.
Despite its limitations, AMP does take the lead in use as the better choice of the two. It is the recommended choice.