Facebook’s Instant Articles: What You Need to Know
Instant articles are Facebook’s way of providing 100% original content on their site. Instead of being overloaded with links and ads all over your timeline the instant articles will allow you to read the entire story right on the actually Facebook site, instead of having to click a link and take you off of the page.
To do this Facebook signed on nine companies to “test” this out. The nine companies signed on so far are The New York Times, National Geographic, Buzzfeed, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel News, Bild. So Facebook does have some big publishers already signed on to give this a try.
So why would these companies agree to publish their original content directly on Facebook? Facebook made an offer these companies simply couldn’t resist. Facebook is giving publishers 100 percent of the ad revenue if the publisher sells the ad. If the ads are sold through the Facebook network then Facebook with agreed to only take a 30 percent cut.
This means that publishers basically just have another outlet to publish their content and not lose any ad revenue. They are still allowed to publish all content on their own site as well so in theory they are not losing any views on their website.
Articles are linked into Facebook as of now but with instant article they would already be on Facebook’s website. This means that you would not have to wait for that link to load to read the story. The loading time for the instant articles are supposedly a lot faster. In a world were attention spans are shrinking all the time this is a big positive.
These instant articles are downright beautiful content. They are extremely crisp and high definition. They come with an array of easy-to-use multimedia features. Some of the features of these instant articles include auto-play videos load seamlessly with the text, interactive maps that give you great vantage points making it easy to locate, rich photos that you can explore deeper with a tilt or pinch of the phone, the ability to share and comment specific parts of the article, and audio captions that let you hear the voice of the author as you read. Wow.
All of these features are mostly to improve your reading pleasure from a mobile phone. These instant articles could potentially give you the best reading and viewing pleasure mobile readers have ever encountered.
Facebook is planning on taking it’s time with these instant articles to make sure they do it just how they want. Basically they do not plan on opening this up to brands everywhere right away.
So the potential for these instant articles can be pretty huge. “We’re starting with something that we think is going to work for some publishers for some articles and for some business models,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, told the Times. “We’re not trying to go, like, suck in and devour everything.” Basically Facebook is trying to play the nice guy.
Something that could negatively affect these publishers in the long run is that their readers may potentially be going to read their content on Facebook rather than viewing their own website. For now though, publishers are getting a great deal they can’t turn down.
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