Facebook to ban millions from 7-year-old feature – and there's no way to get it back | The Sun

FACEBOOK is pulling the plug on a clever feature that loaded news articles much faster.

The tech giant introduced Instant Articles for mobile apps back in 2015.

They are said to load more than 4.9x faster than your iPhone or Android device's usual web browser.

Facebook did this by allowing publishers to load stories in its app.

But according to Axios, the feature is being withdrawn next year.

Mark Zuckerberg's Meta firm, which owns Facebook, said the reason for the move is because the option isn't used enough.

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A rep for Facebook said: "Currently less than 3 per cent of what people around the world see in Facebook’s Feed are posts with links to news articles.

"And as we said earlier this year, as a business it doesn’t make sense to over invest in areas that don't align with user preferences."

Facebook is planning to switch off Instant Articles in mid-April 2023.

This is apparently so the 37,000 pages that use it have time to adjust.

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The move means links will instead go straight to a publisher's site instead.

It comes as Meta tightens it belt on some projects, with reports of hiring freezes as the firm ploughs money into its big metaverse dream.

Facebook has already decided to shut down its Bulletin newsletter subscription service aimed at writers.

It'll go sometime early next year.

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