Facebook Rolls Out Instant Articles To All Publishers
Facebook's Instant Articles will be rolled out to all publishers starting April 12.
In just a few months, everyone can become a Facebook publisher. The company announced that on April 12, any publisher can host content directly on the social network.
The popular program, which was launched nine months ago, gives publishers the ability to create interactive articles directly on Facebook, offering a rich media experience with fast load times. The idea at launch was to give Facebook users the ability to consume content seamlessly, ensuring that publishers still monetized from the experience. The program was initially supported with nine partners, including The New York Times, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, BBC News, National Geographic and NBC.
On April 12, that list of publishers, which has since grown into the hundreds, will expand further to anyone who chooses to opt in. In its announcement, Facebook acknowledges the rationale behind the rollout: “Slow loading times on the mobile web created a problematic experience for people reading news on their phones.”
Regardless of publisher size (and possibly more problematic for smaller publishers without the server and network resources larger publishers have), Facebook is aware that the user experience is diminished when a user tries to consume content off-site, only to have the page load slowly. By offering Instant Articles to everyone, Facebook solves a pain point affecting all users. Instant Articles also benefits the publisher with direct-sold ads that enable them to keep 100 percent of their revenue, in addition to giving them the opportunity to view Facebook or third-party analytics on article performance. Plus, Facebook enables publishers to further monetize their content using the Facebook Audience Network.
Does that mean Facebook will become more of a publishing platform for all, and will publishers migrate more to Facebook for a better user experience for their readers? Time will tell. Those utilizing this technology, however, are likely spending more time on Facebook, and therefore, Facebook wins with additional ad revenue.
There are certainly concerns voiced by publishers that this could make them a little too dependent on Facebook for traffic, but only publishers can make that assessment on their own to see if it’s worth the investment.
More information about Instant Articles can be found here.