When Facebook launched the Instant Articles feature in May last year, it was only available to select publishers. But now the company will be opening to feature to all publishers on April 12 as it announced at the F8 conference.
At the moment, the average news story takes an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook. Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.
The beta test was launched in Asia in December 2015. “We’re excited to announce that on April 12th at Facebook’s F8 conference, we will be opening up the Instant Articles program to all publishers—of any size, anywhere in the world. To date, we’ve been working with a few hundred publishers around the world to build an incredibly fast and immersive reading experience for people on Facebook. While we were getting feedback and making improvements to Instant Articles, in parallel we’ve been building the tools to open up Instant Articles more broadly,” said Josh Roberts, Product Manager, Facebook.
Instant Article is highlighted by use of a lightning bolt in the News Feed. Instant Articles also introduce a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in newer ways.
“We built Instant Articles to solve a specific problem—slow loading times on the mobile web created a problematic experience for people reading news on their phones. This is a problem that impacts publishers of all sizes, especially those with audiences where low connectivity is an issue. With that in mind, our goal from the beginning was to open up Instant Articles to all publishers and we’re excited to be able to do that in a way that makes it fast and easy for all publishers to reach their audiences on Facebook,” Mr Roberts added.
Instant Articles aim to give publishers control over their stories, brand experience, data and ads. They have the ability to bring their own direct-sold ads and, according to Facebook, keep 100 per cent of the revenue, and track data on the ads served through their existing ad measurement systems, or they can monetise their content through the Facebook Audience Network.