Facebook unveiled Instant Articles yesterday, its much talked about direct-to-Facebook publishing deal. The service allows publishers to create “fast and interactive articles on Facebook”. From what I’ve seen, Articles allows for the next generation in storytelling, with highly interactive features and a beautiful layout. This may be the future of quality news on the Internet (and I couldn’t be more excited).
It’s no secret that more people than ever turn to their phones to get the news. Facebook knew that sharing of that content was taking quite a while to load – an average of eight seconds, and, “by far the slowest single content type on Facebook”. The sites that people were clicking through via those shared links were also clunky. The goal for the Facebook consumer was to allow users to share their news more easily, particularly via their mobile app.
The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Guardian, and NBC News are working with Facebook to launch Instant Articles. National Geographic, BuzzFeed and German News outlet Bild are also on board. Instant Articles offers four big points to the publisher. First, with its plethora of interactive features, the platform provides a better experience to Facebook users. This will hopefully translate into more readers. Second, they give the publishers control over their content. Next, and probably the most important to the outlets, they maintain monetization opportunities through their own
Facebook also hopes that publishers and consumers will be drawn to Instant Articles by its interactive attributes. Some of the apps features include such as zooming in of high-resolution photos and examining the photo by tilting the phone left and right, seamless video autoplay, utilization of interactive maps, audio caption playback and watch GIFs while reading a story.
If you’re like me and have a thirst for quality stories from credible outlets, and interested in getting it easily, Instant Articles may be the answer. The platform launched on Facebook for iPhone with a special set of stories published by The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, NBC and The Atlantic.