Prepare Yourself, Instant Is Coming. What Facebook Instant Articles Could Mean for Brands and Publishers

What Features will Facebook Instant Articles Give to Publishers?


Facebook Press Office:

Facebook built Instant Articles (IA) to give publishers an easy, scalable, and repeatable way to build great articles on mobile that load quickly, so people can get to the stories as fast as possible and immerse themselves in the content. IA were designed to give publishers control over their stories, as well as data and ads. Publishers can bring their own direct-sold ads and keep all of the revenue from these ads. They can also monetize their content through the Facebook Audience Network, tapping into high value, native ad formats with people based targeting – from Facebook’s 3 million advertisers who extend their campaigns to reach their target audience off of Facebook. Publishers will have the ability to track data on the ads served through their existing ad measurement systems.

Instant Articles include dynamic features that bring stories to life in new ways and provide more opportunity for creativity: autoplay videos, high-resolution photos and photo galleries, and even 3D maps, so readers can navigate the areas where the stories happen. Readers can like and comment on individual photos and videos in Instant Articles, as well as share pieces of text that resonate with them. Thanks to richer assets and a more responsive interface, Facebook has found that more than half of readers scroll through at least 90% of Instant Articles.

Kamil Ściana, H+K Strategies:

Who Will Benefit the Most?

There are two winners if we focus on the global rollout of Instant Articles – users and publishers. We already know that from the publishers’ perspective, despite some concerns, the new form of publishing gives a wide range of benefits. Selling and serving ads and keeping 100% of revenue? Check. Providing specific data about our readers with the help of Insights or 3rd party measurement technology? Check. WordPress support in the form of a plugin? Check. Adding hi-res images, videos, GIFs, or other formats which can enrich the publishers’ content and ensure that all will launch without crashing? Check, check, check. Some publishers, like The Washington Post, who have taken advantage of IA, already report an increase in repeat visits comparing to the “old-fashioned” posting on the News Feed and it seems that after the global rollout at the F8 conference, Instant Articles are going to be Facebook’s great success.

Still, Let’s Go Back to the Users

How many times have you scrolled down your News Feed and among hundreds of news stories, you finally spotted this one post with a link which you found interesting? And now try to count those moments when you made a decision to leave the publication because it took way too long to load the full page – sometimes the page wasn’t even mobile-friendly yet. We already spend a great amount of time on Facebook – even when I look right now on the usage of my apps on the phone, all Facebook-related apps consume around 30-40% of the whole app usage.

But my case isn’t exceptional – Facebook is one of the most popular apps in all the stores (Android, iOS, and Windows Phone) and in terms of content consumption it is more natural to use. Among thousands of news stories, News Feed displays those which we genuinely find interesting. With this in mind, Instant Articles become the final piece in turning Facebook into a truly personalized digital newspaper.