Facebook’s Instant Articles restore subscription options they previously stripped

The ability to serve content faster than where it originated is the privilege of the platform on which people find it. Facebook, Google, and Apple have all been exploiting this privilege, which, while it does lower load times, is not conducive to a single, standardized web. And it deepens content providers’ dependence on those platforms — which in turn increases the latter’s leverage. Not good.

It’s nice that Facebook is adding this feature, since without it Instant Articles were essentially back doors to paywalled content (okay, we all used the old “google the headline” trick, but still). But ultimately these programs are pretty much just a bad idea — a long game to exert more control over the web at the cost of competitors and content providers. But they’re a reality, so we just have to deal with it.

That said, if you want to support “quality journalism,” your best bet is to cut out the middle man and go directly to the source: the news sites themselves. —TechCrunch