Facebook introduces ‘Instant Articles’ feature: what’s in it for publishers?

As the dust settles on their recent algorithm update; earlier this week Facebook rolled out a new ‘Instant Articles’ feature, enabling publishers to have their content hosted directly within the mobile app.

After talks with popular content publishers over the last few weeks such as Buzzfeed and National Geographic, hosting articles through Facebook’s Instant Articles feature is a great move for companies to consider. Whilst maintaining user engagement and increasing revenue, keeping people on Facebook decreases the likelihood of performance issues – which are sometimes met when linking to third party websites through the app.

Alongside gaining further exposure for their articles, it has been reported that Facebook are offering publishers the chance to keep all revenue from their content, in exchange for handing over their content to the social network. Concerns that redirection of traffic from their own websites to Facebook have been dampened, with publishers still getting full credit for traffic their stories garner on the social network. Publishers can still control the look and feel of their stories too – great for making sure their content doesn’t lose any of its brand identity.

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The roll-out of Instant Articles comes at a really exciting time: did you know that now more than half a billion people solely use the mobile app to access Facebook? With rates increasing daily of consumers who use their phones to access the Internet, optimising websites for mobile users is a really hot topic right now for companies trying to target consumers. Currently available on the iOs version of the Facebook app, the ‘Instant Articles’ feature will be available shortly on the Android OS.

Following on from the implementation of Instant Articles this week for big brands like NBC News and The New York Times, and with the Guardian and BBC News soon to follow suit; it’s a very exciting time for companies interested in reaching out to their customers on Facebook.

What are your thoughts on the new Facebook feature? Have you had a chance to check it out? Share your thoughts below, or with me on Twitter.


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