I would like to politely offer feedback on this "instant article" feature that you are so proud to have updated on my mobile device.
I don't want to have to read long articles in the Facebook mobile app.
I don't EVER want to have to read long articles in the Facebook mobile app.
No, seriously. I don't want you to waste another minute of your engineers' time trying to improve the in-app browser so that it makes the experience of reading an article marginally more tolerable. I just want to not bother with it at all.
Look, I have already picked the web browser I prefer to use in my Android. It happens to be the Chrome app. It works fine. If I decide Chrome isn't good enough, I have a ton of other free web browsers to choose from, they're right there on the Play Store. I want to read articles in the browser that I have chosen. Period.
A year or two ago, you introduced the "option" (turned on by default, thanks very much) to open every link from a wall post directly in the Facebook app. I immediately tracked down the method to turn this off, and I turned it off. Why? Because I don't want to read articles in the Facebook app.
I just checked my options, and "Links open externally" is still activated, which should mean I don't have to read articles in the Facebook app. Yet for some reason, when I tap articles from on select sites -- like Vox, or The New York Times -- you still won't take me to my browser like I asked you to.
Why do I hate reading web articles in the Facebook app? Let me count the ways.
- I can't bookmark them.
- I can't open them in a separate tab.
- I can't do anything else with the Facebook app, like browse recent comments on my posts, until I have finished reading that one article, or I will lose track of it forever, since your have no history function, and your search function is basically useless.
- I can't copy the URL and put it in a blog post, or on Twitter, or anything else outside of Facebook.
- I can't send the URL to anyone who doesn't use Facebook.
- The web, and mobile phones, are technologies designed to allow many different applications to interact with one another seamlessly. Locking me into your app is a horrible anti-pattern.
That's all I want to do. Now stop making me use "Instant Articles," and stop trying to convince me that they're what I've been asking for all along.
A concerned mobile Facebook user.