Facebook Launches ‘Instant Articles’ in News Feed

This week Facebook launched Instant Articles.

People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app, the company says. However, these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook, according to the company.

Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles, Facebook says. They’re also interactive.

“Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways,” Facebook says. “Zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting your phone. Watch auto-play videos come alive as you scroll through stories. Explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line.”

The company notes that publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.

“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook,” said Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. “Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.

Facebook is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.

“We’re participating in Instant Articles to explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement,” Mark Thompson, President and CEO, The New York Times Company said.