Facebook wants to become your news destination of choice with Instant Articles

The company promises faster news on its mobile apps with Instant Articles

Facebook's Instant Articles promises to offer fast access to news articles with multimedia content.
Facebook's Instant Articles promises to offer fast access to news articles with multimedia content.
  • Facebook's Instant Articles promises to offer fast access to news articles with multimedia content.
  • Facebook's Instant Articles promises to offer fast access to news articles with multimedia content.
View all images

Facebook aims to speed up the delivery of news on the company's mobile apps with Instant Articles. The New York Times, National Geographic and others will use it to publish interactive articles directly on Facebooks iPhone app.

People already share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on its mobile apps. To date, however, they take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest content type on Facebook, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. Instant Articles promises to change that with much better responsiveness.

Users will be able to watch auto-play videos as they scroll through a story. They will also be able to view interactive maps, zoom in on high-resolution images, listen to audio captions, and comment on individual parts of an article in-line, as long as publishers have to added the necessary content.

Instant Articles is launching on Facebook for iPhone with a special set of stories published by The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic, NBC and The Atlantic. The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild are also on board. The two German newspapers are interesting additions, since they in the past have been critical of Google News.

The German publishers felt they gave away too much of its content to Google without making any money from it. They unsuccessfully tried use a local law to get paid via abitration, and then agreed to alllow Google to publish news snippets.

Last month Google said it plans to give €150 million (US$168 million) to European publishers and digital journalism startups in the next three years to support the news sector.

Facebook seems to have learned from the problems Google has faced with News, and chosen a more publisher-friendly approach. Instant Articles was designed to give publishers control over their stories and monetization opportunities, according to Facebook. Publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use the company's Audience Network to monetize unsold space, it said.

For Facebook the goal is to get users to come back more often to its apps, and not just to see what their friends are up to.

The company didn't get off to the best of starts on mobile, but its fortunes have now changed in a big way. Last month, Facebook said it had an average of 798 million mobile users in March, up 31 percent year-on-year. That was about 85 percent of the total number of users, which grew by 17 percent.

Instant Articles is yet another example of how the way news is consumed is changing, with social networks often at the center. However, they aren't alone. Verizon Communications' US$4.4 billion [b] acquisition of AOL also comes with a lot of content, including websites such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. Even if Facebook and Verizon have taken different approaches, the goals are the same: make their offerings more attractive and make money from selling ads.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 cornerstones of a strong digital culture

Creating a strong company culture may sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. In fact, company culture is created in exactly the same fashion as a religion or democracy. Behaviours created from the organisation’s inception are reinforced over time by leadership, attracting like-minded people and eventually reaching critical mass to become an accepted ‘truth’.

Anthony Stevens

Founder and CEO, Digital Asset Ventures

Should you rebuild your company’s tech stack in blockchain?

The question I get asked most regularly these days is: ‘Do I need to rebuild my company’s systems on Blockchain?’ And the answer, every time, is ‘No, you’re asking the wrong question’.

Michelle O'Keeffe

CEO, Engaging.io

Customer value proposition: Getting the brand promise to your customers right

Throughout my career, I have witnessed a litany of brand names that profess to have a unique customer value proposition (CVP). In reality, however, they’ve had little more than a ‘value proposition’: A simple list of benefits applied to a general audience.

Ric Navarro

Global director of marketing and communications, Norman, Disney & Young

Hi there! Thanks for this interesting article! I love to read about new technology and software that makes our lives easier. I'm looking ...

Julia Summer

Wartsila overhauls Web platforms to create ‘seamless’ brand experience across all devices

Read more

RE: Sales and marketing SLAs, often the choke point isn't the teams but them getting the data into the tools they want to use with the da...

Ed Fry

Why sales and marketing alignment is more important than ever

Read more

Thank you for the good and very helpful information. It is very interesting. I love all the things you share and see your beautiful creat...

รัตนาวดี ภูมิวรรณ

Former eHarmony marketing chief joins telco startup

Read more

Colin Kaepernick, not Mike Kapernick.

thisisw

Zenith's innovation leader: Mid-digital age not benefitting media, brands or consumers

Read more

AGA KHAN HOSPITAL is in need of kidney donors for the sum of 2 crore, Contact us today if you want to sell your kidney for money, and thi...

Sebastian Friedrich

Mindshare gets behind blockchain advertising alliance

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in