Facebook Instant Articles: Taking Publishing Up a Notch

Facebook Instant Articles launched on May 12, 2015 and a year after, it is now available to all publishers, giving them leverage when it comes to publishing content.

Instant Articles Defined

Facebook Instant Articles is basically an HTML document that allows publishers to create content that Facebook mobile users can access and read the entire article from their Facebook app and at a loading rate that is faster despite bandwidth limitations. This new feature is very important for countries with very slow internet connection like India and the Philippines.

Last year, only a handful of publishers were approached to try this feature and get some feedback but recently, this open source publishing platform can now be used by all publishers. What’s great about this news is that they can enhance the format of their content and add sponsor logos. Moreover, when it comes to selling an ad, the publisher gets 100% of the profit while Facebook gets 30% if it is sold through the network.

Instant Articles Benefits and Features

Aside from content exclusivity in which publishers can choose posts to submit to Instant Articles and simultaneously publish it in their own websites, increasing traffic and the chance of being read.

Also, on top of data from the analytics tools used by the publishers, Facebook will be providing data to measure and understand the feedback of readers, including reader behavior. This makes this platform measurable and trackable. Other tools available are Chartbeat, comScore and Adobe Analytics.

According to Facebook the loading times are 10 times better compared to the standard mobile web. Moreover, it has interactive maps, auto-play videos and embedded audio captions, among other. With Facebook’s reputation, enhancing this publishing platform in the coming month will not be a surprise.

When it comes to sharing, Instant Articles is also compatible with any platform. Since it is associated with the URL link of the website, sharing content via numerous platforms becomes seamless. If content from Instant Articles are shared using Twitter or email, the publisher’s website link is also shared. This makes it possible for the recipient to read the content even from another platform.

How Instant Articles Work

As an HTML document, it uses specific tags and works like Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The HTML format that is already in the publisher’s website can be reused in Instant Articles. It also allows for social media embeds and third-party content support. Since Facebook collaborated with Automattic, WordPress.com VIP’s parent company, for a free plugin that will make it possible for an automatic Instant Articles feed. Publishers can also enhance content with images as well as audio captions, videos, comments, Facebook likes and slideshows.

Publishers simply have to register with Instant Articles and submit an RSS feed of their chosen articles to Facebook, which they can do directly from their Content Management Systems. Once the feed is in place, Instant Articles will then automatically publish these stories. And for errors and updates, this Facebook feature can also track them down and immediately update the RSS feed.

With Facebook Instant Articles, publishers will be able streamline the ways they deliver news and articles while users can remain up-to-date with information.