report was released this week by Chartbeat that quantifies the benefits of faster mobile page-load times, and specifically, publisher usage of Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles (FIA).  The report, which is called “The New Speed of Mobile Engagement,” seeks to answer some general questions about the formats:

  • Does improving page load time positively impact readership and revenue?
  • Does it deliver on the promise of a quicker, cleaner mobile user experience?
  • How does AMP compare to Facebook’s Instant Articles format?
  • What is the impact on consumer engagement?

Basically, the report says that page speed does matter to mobile readers, and that faster pages equal more engagement.  The finds were based on the Chartbeat analysis of user interactions with “360 sites using AMP and FIA from June 2016 to May 2017.”

In the report, it was found that on AMP, the median page-load time was 1.4 seconds.  By comparison, Facebook’s Instant Articles loaded in a fraction of a second  The load-time for the standard mobile web page was over five seconds.  However, AMP is driving considerably more traffic from search than Instant Articles.  According to Chartbeat, ““The number of AMP articles receiving traffic each day is 3x the number of active FIA pages.”

In the report, users reward these faster pages with higher engagement: “48 seconds with AMP content vs. 36 seconds with mobile web content when coming from search.” Chartbeat also found that the faster formats were growing their overall share of publisher traffic.

To help confirm the Chartbeat findings, website builder Duda validates their conclusion that page speed really mattes to users.  If a site loads more quickly, they will receive almost 50 percent more “engagement actions” than slow-loading sites.  Here “engagement actions” comprises a variety of behaviors, which includes calls, emails, SMS clicks and form fills.

The company’s CEO Itai Sadan observed, “There is roughly a 10 percent decrease in conversion rate for every additional second it takes a site to load.”

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