Facebook’s ‘Instant Articles’ Lets Key Publishers Post Stories Directly On Its PlatformMay 13, 2015 2015-05-13 11:15
Facebook’s ‘Instant Articles’ Lets Key Publishers Post Stories Directly On Its Platform
Facebook has launched Instant Articles, a new product for publishers to create interactive articles directly on the social network.
Instant Articles will make for a more seamless experience, especially on mobile, by cutting down the time it takes to load articles as well as giving publishers a suite of interactive features.
The social network found articles shared on its platform to be the slowest loading content type, taking 8 seconds on average to load, which pushed it to launch Instant articles.
Apart from faster load times, publishers will be able to add high-resolution photos, add autoplay videos, add interactive maps, audio captions and even allow comments on individual parts of an article.
In terms of monetization, publishers will be able to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.
Facebook has also integrated Instant Articles with comScore and other analytics tools, allowing publishers to track user data and article traffic.
While the company hasn’t disclosed the terms of revenue sharing for using Instant Articles, it is expected that fees for publishers will be quite low, with Facebook eyeing increased usage of its platform rather than directly earning money off the new feature.
The company is working with 9 launch partners to roll out Instant Articles – The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.
It’s still too early to know how successful Instant Articles will be among Facebook users, and moreover will publishers warm up to the idea of sharing reader data with the social network.
Facebook hosting content could motivate Google to do the same, and that has sparked off a scare that news content will be further controlled by the two Internet giants.
While users will benefit from faster loading, more interactive and an overall better UX, free web content could soon be mirrored within the walled gardens of Facebook and Google.
At first, Instant Articles will launch on the Facebook app for the iPhone with special sets of stories published by publisher partners. The company will gather feedback from users before opening the floodgates for more publishers and moving to other platforms, but hasn’t shared a tentative timeline for the same.