Facebook Instant Articles will become available to all publishers, no matter what size, starting April 12.
Instant Articles is a feature that launched for a select number of well-known publishers last year – including BuzzFeed, the Atlantic and National Geographic. But this new change is a big one that brands should pay attention to; it means that all brands will have the option to share interactive content directly from Facebook.
From a Facebook statement: 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.
What’s the Point of Instant Articles?
The reasoning behind Instant Articles is simple: it often takes forever to load articles on your phone. You know the drill; you’re scrolling through your Facebook news feed and come across an interesting article a friend or brand you follow has posted. But when you try to click through to read the piece, the loading stalls for so long that you give up and go back to what you were doing.
Instant Articles solves this problem by displaying stories up to 10 times faster than conventional mobile browsers, offering a smooth and seamless user experience.
What Are the Benefits of Instant Articles?
A bigger audience
Facebook has an undeniably large reach, with more than 1 billion worldwide users. People are already spending their time on the platform, so brands can take advantage of that attention. Content published via Instant Articles has the potential to reach both an existing and a new audience.
100% ad revenue
Companies can serve direct-sold ads into their Instant Articles, using their own measurement and analytics, and keep 100% of the revenue. Brands can also opt to use the Facebook Audience Network for ads and keep 70% of the revenue.
Custom creative tools
Instant Articles lets brands create content that’s beautiful and interactive, featuring auto-play videos, high-resolution photos, interactive maps and audio captions.
Instant Articles can also be customized to reflect a company’s branding, and it can be integrated into an existing workflow, using standard HTML and RSS feeds
The main risk of brands using Instant Articles is that users will be encouraged to spend more time on Facebook, instead of leaving the platform to visit their own websites. But Instant Articles shouldn’t be dismissed because of this fear. It offers companies appealing opportunities to meet audiences where they are and successfully engage them. Savvy brands will look for creative ways to use the tool to boost the reach of original content and new campaigns.
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