Facebook Goes Mobile With Instant Articles

Facebook is a social media site that connects friends, family and associates in the blink of an eye but it has also become a great source for media consumption especially on the go.

Facebook recognize that needs and with that came Facebook Instant Articles for their Facebook Mobile Apps.

Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Article is a feature that helps move things along a lot faster on mobile by hosting the article on their end. Whereas beforehand, any clicks on the post will lead to external publisher site for the article, now it will just instant load out in the same screen itself. Facebook moving toward this mobile feature came as no surprise as Google recently announced their Google Mobile Friendly Update as well.

For a start, some of the biggest names in journalism like The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic are on board with Facebook Instant Article.

Why Facebook Instant Articles?

Facebook recognize the shift to mobile devices and it is crucial to come out with features to capitalize on it. With Facebook Instant Article, it bring about the following benefits

  • 10x faster of loading of articles
  • Rich Media Embed like audio & zoomable photos
  • Complete control of Ads inventory by the Publisher who sign up

What all these mean is that Publishers can really decide how they will like manage their Ads inventory, be it sell it off themselves with 100% of revenue or through Facebook Advertising Network which take a 30% cut of the revenue.

What it could meant to Advertiser

With this new Instant Articles, it could open up a channel for effective mobile advertising. With it instant loading and in full screen mode, it could be a good platform for Facebook Advertiser. Not much has been revealed yet but we can expect some of the guidelines for ads in their Instant Articles as follow

  • 1 large banner ad, sized 320×250 or 300×250 pixels – or – 2 small banners sized 320×50 or 300×50 pixels for every 500 words of content.
  • A maximum of 4 total ads per article, and a maximum of 2 small banners per article.
  • All articles are allowed to have at least one ad, regardless of the length.
  • Publishers may include no more than one house ad per article.
  • No ads may be placed “above the fold” on the first view of the article.
  • Publishers may not include ads in autoplay videos embedded in their articles, although ads in third-party video players are allowed.

*Note:  BuzzFeed for example is running one of their custom Ads Unit in Instant Articles and as of now, Facebook is working closely with them to figure out the best ad requirements that will work well into the business model thus expect changes to be made to the above.

Conclusion

Facebook Instant Articles definitely is looking very promising & useful especially for users like us who uses Facebook for our media consumption. But whether it will appeal to the majority of the publishers that is still unknown. For now, Facebook is currently only testing Instant Articles with a small set of publishers today as it slowly roll up more.

Only time will tell if it will work but this move by Facebook significantly signify that mobile is currently trends as more users are surfing, searching on the go.

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