Facebook has recently rolled out ‘Instant Articles’, signaling a turning point in the way native content is presented on the platform.
The platform has partnered with a number of media partners, including the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic to showcase how this change will apply to pages. Before the update, content from these publishers would normally take readers to an outside website, however with Instant Articles, community members can now view all of this style of article without leaving the Facebook iPhone app.
Another large difference with the Instant Articles is that they appear straight away, without the 8-second load time that accompanies articles that take you outside of the Facebook platform. What does this mean for you? An experience that is quicker, easier and more streamlined.
So what is in it for news companies who will now be losing web traffic to their own sites? Advertising revenue! Facebook is allowing the publishers to sell ads that will appear with their news content and keep the revenue. Facebook will also allow the publishers to track their own traffic.
Facebook has taken a huge leap in the right direction in its quest to become a ‘one-stop-shop’ news portal. While this seamless experience will be seen as a positive for users, it’s yet to be seen whether publishers will suffer in the long term.
Ultimately, if the publishers don’t take advantage of Facebook’s willing and ready audience, they will miss out on reaching billions of eyeballs that could be exposed to their content. And, if Facebook’s users enjoy the experience, this could mark a bold new shift in the world of digital publishing.
Have your say: Are you happy about the Instant Article upgrade?