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Facebook Introduces Instant Articles

Facebook NewsLast Week, Facebook unveiled a new product called Instant Articles. The product will be used by publishers to create fast, interactive articles on the largest social media channel in the world.

Facebook hopes to make mobile users’ experience faster and richer. People are known to share a high volume of articles, particularly on their mobile devices. However, those articles take approximately 8 seconds to load. Facebook’s Instant Articles is set to improve that and make article loading ten times faster than the standard mobile web articles.

In addition to Instant Articles, Facebook will be unveiling a number of interactive features that will help publishers bring their stories to life in more innovative ways:  1) Zoom in and explore Hi-Def photos by tilting phone; 2) Watch auto-play videos come alive as you scroll through stories; 3) explore interactive maps; 4) Listen to audio captions.

The purpose of this new product is to give publishers control over their own shares and stories.  Publishers are given the choice of selling ads in the articles and even receive revenue or they can simply choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory. In order to track data and traffic, they will have access to comScore and other analytics tools.

Facebook has so far partnered with 9 launch partners: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.

Where can these articles be found? Go to www.facebook.com/instantarticles. The first article from the New York Times is now live and is available on the New York Times’ Facebook page.

Review of Facebook Instant Articles:

As a user, the experience of Facebook Instant Articles is perfect. You can get to the story you want almost instantly without having to wait for it to load. Facebook is brilliant in this sense – they understand that in order to keep their users engaged on their platform, great content consumption experience is critical.

For publishers and marketers, it will get them better engagement with Instant Articles and additional  traffic from Facebook’s messaging application and email. However, this traffic could come at a cost because sharing and linking is contained within Facebook itself. Publishers and marketers are thereby running the risk of getting fewer inbound links back to their own websites, which ultimately means they could be trading additional Facebook traffic for less search traffic.

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May 19, 2015

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