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Facebook's Instant Articles for publishers to create fast, interactive stories

By Ian Chee - on 14 May 2015, 10:04am

Facebook's Instant Articles for publishers to create fast, interactive stories

Today, if your source of news is from a smartphone, chances are that if they didn’t come from a dedicated news app, it came from Facebook. The social media site knows that a lot of articles are being shared there, and wants to make the experience faster and richer. The result is Instant Articles, which aims to make the reading experience up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles, which take an average of eight seconds to load.

Image source: Facebook.

Image source: Facebook.

 

Instant Articles not only make the article-reading experience faster for users, but also allow publishers to make use of a suite of interactive features to bring their articles to life. Features of this sort include the ability to let users explore interactive maps, zoom into images by tilting their phones, listening to audio captions or even liking and commenting on individual parts of an article in-line.

Image source: Facebook.

Image source: Facebook.

“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook. Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models,” said Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.

At the moment, Facebook is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles, which are The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild. Instant Articles is also initially launching for iPhone, with a possible Android version coming in the future.

It would be interesting to see how the addition of interactive content would change things, considering there are already quite a number of news and articles-dedicated apps out there. That, however, will probably have to wait until there are more partners signing up to be part of Instant Articles.

Source: Facebook.