Facebook has announced yesterday that they are launching a brand new product for publishers called “Instant Articles”. The latest novelty coming from Facebook should help publishers create fast, interactive articles on Facebook. It will allow publishers to post content directly to Facebook and keep 100% revenue from ads they sell against their stories. This means that Facebook will start hosting content from publishers directly on its platform and the content published this way should load quickly on users’ mobile phones.
Since an online world is dominated by mobile devices, it is critical for publishers to have content that is engaging for the users who are getting their news and stories on mobile phones. This means that these stories should load quickly and the overall experience should be rich and exciting. As Facebook said in the official blog post announcing Instant Articles, people share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on Facebook’s mobile app. But these stories take an average of 8 seconds to load, which is by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. This is the reason why Facebook decided to create new product called Instant Articles, which is designed to make the reading experience as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.
Here is how Facebook’s officials described the new product in the official blog post announcing Instant Articles:
“Along with a faster experience, Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways. Zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting your phone. Watch auto-play videos come alive as you scroll through stories. Explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line. We designed Instant Articles to give publishers control over their stories, brand experience and monetization opportunities. Publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory. Publishers will also have the ability to track data and traffic through comScore and other analytics tools.”
For now there are 9 launching partners: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.
At the beginning, Instant Articles will be available on the Facebook iOS app but Facebook will continue developing this product with their partners over the coming months.