Facebook starts providing read time estimates for Instant Articles, in a move to increase transparency and improve user experience.
Let’s face it; we are all too busy to do anything else than cross-read everything. I know, I see the stats of this website every day. Our attention span has shrunk drastically with the rise of the Internet. Long form content is almost dead as most readers now spend less time trying to stay informed.
Sometimes, gauging whether or not you want to read an article is just about how much time you have at a given moment. For this reason, Facebook started providing read time estimates on its platform. For now, it only works with Instant Articles. The feature is already live on News Feed on desktop, and on the iOS and Android Facebook apps.
A Facebook spokesperson explained that the feature is being rolled out to users and is only available for Instant Articles written in English and users with their language settings set to English.
It is an interesting new feature. However, Facebook did not explain how the time estimates are calculated. The most common options are based on user data (i.e. how long people have stayed on a webpage) or using more advanced AI that “reads” the text to make a time estimate.
Did you read this? How long did it take you?
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