Instant Articles from Facebook

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 16.07.24Facebook have recently launched their Instant Articles service which allows people all around the world to publish content directly onto the social platform. The purpose of this service is to allow publishers to create interactive articles that provide an immersive reading experience for Facebook users. Facebook’s intentions with this new service are to connect their users with the content that they enjoy while also giving greater control to publishers.

In order to use Instant Articles, publishers will first need to sign up for an account and then simply submit their articles. The articles will then appear in the news feeds of those within the network.

As the articles load in the news feed, this eliminates the need for users to leave Facebook in order to devour content. Research has shown that people enjoy and appreciate both the speed of this service and the convenience of not having to leave Facebook. Currently when a user clicks to read an article that appears in their news feed, they are directed to an external website. The load time, especially for mobile users, can often be a source of frustration.

This service is good news for content marketers who are constantly competing to get their content in front of consumers. As we all know, people love to share things on Facebook and the option to share these Instant Articles will be effortless.

Adverts will be built into Instant Articles, providing monetisation opportunities alongside the content. This will include the use of video advertising within the body of the article itself. Publishers will also then have the option to include another advert, in addition to the video advert, at the bottom of the article.  In regards to the policy on adverts the Instant Articles product manager over at Facebook, Josh Roberts, stated that, “In our conversations with publishers, these changes popped up as the biggest steps we could take to make the biggest impact”.

Certain content management systems, such as WordPress and Drupal, have already developed plugins that automate the process of publishing existing content onto Facebook. A/B testing for Instant Article headlines is also available, which helps marketers to better understand how to appeal to their target audience.

As more and more people adopt the use of this service to share their content, it seems inevitable that the service itself will continue to develop. However, the potential for an improved user experience and the potential for advantages for marketers are already apparent.

By Alix Jones