Great news for all publishing brands that use Facebook with the announcement that the platform will be opening up it’s ‘Instant Articles‘ feature for publishers of all sizes. From the 12th of April, coinciding with the F8 Developer conference, the feature rich addition can be used to provide an immersive content experience like never before articles online. The major difference is that when an Instant Article is clicked the user is taken not to a URL but to an HTML5 ‘document’ that is essentially housed within their own Facebook Page. These new articles aren’t posts as such, but an extension of a Page’s capabilities. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t.
If you haven’t seen Instant Articles on Facebook yet here’s why you need to check them out, or recommend them to clients that publish regularly:
- Articles load 10 times faster than standard mobile web
- Hi-res photos with instant zoom
- Photos have a ’tilt’ option to explore them
- Autoplay video
- Voice capabilities with captions
- Interactive maps
Publishers can use their own RSS feeds to automate the pushing of content to Instant Articles directly from their existing systems. The articles can be created from within Facebook or coded. Importantly for publishers is revenue and how to adapt to changes in online models and still be profitable. Instant Articles allow magazines and journalists to bring their own ads into the articles and keep all the revenue – so it seems Facebook has thought of everything.
Watch the video and you’ll see why this merging of words, images, and audio, is the best the web has to offer on mobile devices. The bad news, a lot effort will go into creating Instant Articles but that content can’t be transferred to any other platform or used natively on a brand’s own mobile site. This content is amazing for brands wanting to engage customers on Facebook but will do little elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether smaller publishers have the resources to devote to a system that benefits them in one place online as opposed to their own URL.
Have you seen Instant Articles yet?
Will you recommend them?
Let us know below!