Have you heard of Facebook Instant Articles?
Facebook Instant Articles are a great way to serve your content to readers without fearing they will leave your website due to load time. In fact, even more than improving load time, Instant Articles allow your readers to interact with what you’ve created for them.
How Are Instant Articles Different?
(viewed on computer or mobile Internet browser, not set up as Instant Articles based on the Facebook for Developers’ Instant Articles page):
- Readers will be directed to your website with other website features, including pop-ups, opt-in forms and the menu.
- The article will load as normal with slight-to-long delay depending on your website.
- The click will count as a hit on your website, counting as a referral from Facebook.
- Readers will read through as normal, clicking on images to enlarge them.
The scoop on viewing conventional articles:
The focus is to read + observe media such as images, graphics, videos and charts without special attention to content interaction.
- Readers are directed to the Instant Article vs. to your website with the sidebar, menu and other features.
- Instant loading.
- Hits to your Instant Articles won’t count as a hit on your website. Note that you can gauge clicks to your Instant Articles by using Google Analytics.
- Interactive reading. In Facebook’s words:
“Instant Articles introduces a suite of creative tools that allow publishers to bring their stories to life in new ways, with high-resolution photos, auto-play videos, interactive maps and audio captions.” -Facebook for Developers
The scoop on viewing Instant Articles:
The focus is to interact with content, improving the likability of their experience and potentially reinforcing absorption of the material.
Who already has Facebook Instant Articles?
(Note: To check out the Instant Article versions of their posts, you need to view through the Facebook mobile app. Click on the articles with the lightening bolt in the upper right.)
Right now you can see Instant Articles being used by:
(if on mobile, click to visit their Facebook page where you might come across an Instant Article)
Facebook Will Send you More Information about Instant Articles:
Even if you have an inkling you’d like to try it out, fill-out Facebook’s form to seek out more information. They’ll send you an email that links to the developer’s information and will also invite you to the Facebook Group for Media Publishers.
Curious about what the email says? Here it is:
What Features Do We Get to Look Forward To?
Any video can be set to autoplay and even loop, creating an interactive and entertaining cross-media experience. Can you already think about how documentaries, biographies and tutorials can translate to a really interesting experience for users?
Note that your videos must be embedded on your website to include autoplay. Facebook Instant Video supports video from third-party players, but these videos will not support the autoplay enhancement.