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

How to create profitable pricing

How do we price goods and services? As business leaders, we have asked ourselves this question since the history of trading.

Lee Naylor

Managing partner, The Leading Edge

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Australia’s cricketers captured the nation’s attention during their recent run to the semi-final of the ICC Men’s World Cup. While the tournament ultimately ended in defeat, for over a month it provoked a sense of belonging, hope and empowerment for millions of people across Australia. Cricket, and sport in general, has a near-unique ability to empower individuals, irrelevant of their background, demographic or nationality.

Nikhil Arora

Vice-president and managing director, GoDaddy India

AI ethics: Designing for trust

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes much more prevalent and increasingly a way of life, more questions are being asked than answered about the ethical implications of its adoption.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Max Polding

What it takes to turnaround an iconic Australian brand

Read more

I spend a lot of time in my professional life as a provider of marketing solutions trying to persuade customers that CX, UX, UI and Custo...

sketharaman

Gartner VP: Why CMOs and CIOs must band together to make CX a discipline

Read more

I live the best deals at LA Police Gear.

Tyrus Rechs

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Its absolute over priced acquisition. The CEO, must be fired for this all cash transaction. Absolutely no justification for prospective P...

about_face

Analysts question long-term play of SAP's acquisition of Qualtrics

Read more

Very well written Nikhil! Indeed this is a big ticket investment, but the impact on brand, sales and employee motivation should make it w...

Yugal Sachdeva

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in