Facebook officially introduced their “Instant Articles” product on Wednesday. The goal is to increase load time for users on their mobile devices. According to Facebook, stories currently take an average of eight seconds to load, the most of any single content type on the social media platform.
See also – Introducing Instant Articles
Below is everything you need to know about Facebook “Instant Articles:”
- According to Facebook, Instant Articles will load “ten times faster” than standard mobile web articles.
- Users will be able to zoom in and explore Instant Articles in high-resolution by tilting your mobile device. Additionally, Instant Articles include interactive maps, audio captions and the ability to “like” and “comment” on individual parts of an article in-line.
- The launch partners for Instant Articles are as follows: The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.
- Publishers have the ability to sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.
- Publishers will be able to track data and traffic through analytics tools made available including comScore.
All and all, this is Facebook’s attempt to take further control of their product by keeping users on their platform. The idea is to use Facebook more, much like Google has slithered their way into almost every facet of the online experience.
My concern is that Facebook will show favoritism to partners that use their product, giving them an advantage over a third party using the social media platform to increase traffic. It’s similar to concerns the European Union has with Google. Not to mention giving bigger publishers more of an edge over smaller entities that are already outmatched in terms of budget and resources.
The user experience should be better and the features sound neat, however, I’m a little unsettled about Facebook taking more control over material posted to the service.