Facebook rolls out Instant Articles
The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Bild, others come on board as initial partners
Facebook today unveiled Instant Articles, the social network’s latest attempt to get publishers to provide content to Facebook.
“Today we’re excited to introduce Instant Articles, a new product for publishers to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook,” wrote Michael Reckhow, Product Manager.
“Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles,” said Reckhow. “Along with a faster experience, Instant Articles introduces a suite of interactive features that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways.”
Despite wide spread skepticism in the media about Facebook’s motives, and the idea of publishers offering content to Facebook as they have with Flipboard, The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild have all signed on as initial partners in the project.
By signing on early, these media partners will have a huge advantage should the project prove beneficial for them (it certainly will for Facebook). But if, like many other similar schemes, this only benefits the distributor and the content producer is left with pennies, these media outlets may regret their decision to get involved.
Facebook will let publishers sell their own ad inventory or use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize any unsold inventory. Publishers can also use third party traffic analytics such as from comScore.
“The Guardian is keen to test how the new platform can provide an even more engaging experience for our readers,” said Tony Danker, International Director, Guardian News & Media. “It is then vital that, over time, Instant Articles delivers recurring benefit for publishers, whose continued investment in original content underpins its success.”