Facebook Instant Articles…this is going to be HUGE!
In collaboration with a few select publishers, Facebook launched Instant Articles in May 2015. Since then Facebook has been analyzing data to perfect Instant Articles and plans to open the use of Instant Articles to all publishers in April 2016.
What is an Instant Article?
The best answer to this question comes directly from the source, Facebook.
“Instant Articles are a fast and interactive experience for reading articles in News Feed. Powered by the same technology that loads photos and videos quickly in our mobile apps, Instant Articles display as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles and feature tilt-to-pan photos, auto-play video, interactive maps, and embedded audio captions that let you explore stories in beautiful new ways.
Beyond creating a great experience for readers, we designed Instant Articles to make it as easy as possible for publishers to use with their existing Content Management Systems (CMS). There are no new tools to learn, and publishers can easily publish their full catalog of articles each day.” (TR Vishwanath, Software Engineer at Facebook. developers.facebook.com article)
What does this mean?
With the use of Instant Articles, marketers will be able to publish rich content ads and provide 100% direct revenue back to their client through the ad. Publishers will have the ability to publish articles directly from their Content Management Systems and target users using the Facebook Audience Network tool. Articles will be better suited to user’s device and load faster with better content quality. Publishers will be able to add interactive 3D maps and videos into their articles, also give their readers the ability to zoom and scroll through pictures.
Other things you need to know
You will not be able to use Facebook’s targeting tool for ads sold directly by your team with Instant Articles. You will be able to use Audience Network and your standard cookie or contextual data for targeting as you do for ads on your website.
The integration of Facebook Instant Articles will have a major impact on the way companies advertise on social media and, in general, digitally.
What is everyone else saying?
- A speed test by Catchpoint Networks, reported in the Wall Street Journal, confirmed Facebook’s claims of Instant Articles loading ten times faster than mobile web articles.
- TechCrunch noted that, even if Facebook’s terms for publishers were favorable at present, there was no guarantee that Facebook would continue to maintain these terms. It also noted that, if users engaged more with Instant Articles, this would cause them to be shown more often in users’ feeds, implicitly forcing publishers to participate.
- Vivian Schiller, a former executive at NBC, the New York Times, and Twitter, said that Facebook Instant Articles was too massive to ignore, as that’s where the audience was.
For more information and to learn how to use Instant Articles visit the Facebook developer blog.