Facebook Instant Articles

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Facebook Instant Articles

Posted by Claudia Simon in Social Media

Instant Articles – you can spot these on Facebook as they are marked by a little flash in the right corner of a picture next to an external link. But it’s so much more. Sometimes I even catch myself searching for instant articles to get information faster. Has Facebook despite all the criticism realized, what we readers want and what is the advantage for the publishing houses?


The new type of online reporting – what is it in detail?

An Instant Article is a HTML5 document that uses a standardized language similar to XML. It is a proprietary technology of Facebook, which only works within its social networks. Facebook preloads the appropriate article securely over RSS feed with all contents to their own server, thereby the loading time is ten times faster than before. The instant articles are only displayed on mobile devices and are designed to speed up reading and to make the overall experience better. However, the feature is limited to the operating systems Android and iOS.


How can I spot instant articles?

You can see them on Facebook as they are marked by a little flash in a right corner of apicture next to an external link. It is therefore visually difficult to distinguish instant articles from the normal particles. Publisher defines the layout in their own Facebook Manager, here are almost no limits.
Bildausschnitt Instant Articles Blick Blog

What happens in advance?

As usual the content is entered in the Content Management System (CMS). There it allows all the usual possibilities of publishing without any additional effort. The editor provides the desired product in the CMS for the upload to Facebook. Facebook imports instant articles automatically every 3 minutes and publishes the content to the desired Facebook page of the company. Of course Facebook will not publish any duplicate content and changes in already published articles are automatically applied. Not every CMS on the market provides such an interface, here eThinking can help you to find a solution.

Where is advertising placed?

Advertising can be also included. It is done in consultation with the internal advertising companies and the proceeds can be retained by the publisher himself. When an online display is organized and integrated by Facebook, Facebook transfers 70 % of the proceeds to the media houses.

Which advantage has this new form of publishing?

It is very important to understand benefits of this new feature. It is intended to simplify reading, opening, sharing and commenting on the external articles. Above all is the expansion of the range and distribution of the content. The important traffic is missing on the own website, where it can and must be accessible to analysis tools. Facebook allows its own analysis in Facebook Manager and also IVW online published recently important numbers, for that the known counting pixels have to be deposited in Instant Articles. This refers to articles, photo galleries and videos. This is an essential step for the acceptance of this technology.
The IVW wrotes:

„In the monthly IVW expulsion the measured use of your distributed content on AMP and Instant Articles will be published in total.“

ethinking Instant Articles Mockup


Facebook also provides the usage data of the instant articles:

How many times it was opened?
How far do the users scroll in the article?
How much time they spent with the article?

We implemented great projects with the instant articles and are well informed about all the necessary things. Ringier uses that for their “Blick” portal and confirms that the implementation is very easy and doesn’t interrupt their internal procedures.
My conclusion is, it remains a matter of perspectives. Many readers are not interested in the source of their information as long as it is relevant and correct. For publishers the instant articles are a new way in which their content can be used and shared more intensively. This benefit is paid by less traffic on the portals. Nevertheless, up to now between 60 and 80 percent of the traffic comes from search engines and social networking. It is an ascending trend tough. Sometimes I even catch myself searching for this little flashlight in the right corner of the articles. Has Facebook despite all the criticism realized, what we readers want and offers real additional benefit for the publishing houses?

Best regards from the Hackeschen Markt


18 Feb 2016