Facebook ‘Instant Articles’ lets mobile readers skip load times

13/05/2015

Facebook has launched “Instant Articles”, a program that hosts publishers’ content in its app’s News Feed so users don’t have to click out and wait for websites to load.

Introducing Instant Articles, a new tool for publishers to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook.

Posted by Facebook Media on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The new service will initially feature rich-media stories from The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.

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All articles from these publishers that will be globally visible from Facebook’s iPhone app and will run ads.

Users can zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting their phone. They can also watch auto-play videos, explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line.

Appealing to publishers and advertisers

In a bid to calm publishers’ fears that Facebook would keep all the data, the social network will share analytics, and Instant Articles is compatible with audience measurement and attribution tools like comScore, Omniture, and Google Analytics.

Ads can appear inside Instant Articles, with publishers keeping 100% of revenue if they sell them, and Facebook keeps its standard 30% if it sells the ads.

Facebook added that Instant Articles will not get preferential treatment from Facebook’s News Feed sorting algorithm just because of their format.

Publisher feedback

“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook” said Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. “Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”

Mark Thompson, President and CEO, The New York Times Company said, “The New York Times already has a significant and growing audience on Facebook. We’re participating in Instant Articles to explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement. We have a long tradition of meeting readers where they are and that means being available not just on our own sites, but on the social platforms frequented by many current and potential Times users.”

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“It is great to see Facebook trialing new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile,” said Tony Danker, International Director, Guardian News & Media. “The Guardian is keen to test how the new platform can provide an even more engaging experience for our readers. It is then vital that, over time, Instant Articles delivers recurring benefit for publishers, whose continued investment in original content underpins its success.”

For further information about Instant Articles, visit instantarticles.fb.com.

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