As if anyone need more reason to like Facebook? It was announced recently that the social media giant will deliver news to users faster and more comprehensive than ever before.
Dubbed as Instant Articles, the Facebook news reader will provide news organizations with opportunities to create interactive content designed to be much easier to read using their smartphone or tablet.
Instant Articles is geared to revolutionize news delivery, helping news firms convey their content to younger readers. Their current partners include National Geographic, Buzzfeed, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, Spiegel, and the BBC.
“We think the most important thing here is speed,” Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox says, “the obvious lesson we keep on learning is that on a mobile phone, the most important thing is immediacy.”
Facebook says users will have to wait as long as eight seconds for a news piece to load on a phone using the current system, and they’re planning to hasten that.
With Instant Articles, the news piece will fill the screen immediately with a few extras, such as photos, embedded videos and pop-out charts and maps. Facebook says this will help news firms make their articles more visually and mentally engaging.
One of the best things about Instant Articles is its commitment to providing tailored design for individual publishers to correspond with the features in their own websites.
But in the end, it all comes down to business and revenue sharing. Even with the promise of Instant Articles, news organizations will want to make sure their visitor traffic will increase. Facebook assures them that it will, and unlike in their old advertising network where they get a 70/3 revenue sharing deal, with Instant Articles, they will receive all profits generated from advertisements.
However, despite Facebook’s supremacy in social media sharing, news firms are wary of how their articles will behave, given the complicated and unpredictable mechanics behind Facebook’s newsfeed. With every tweak in the rules, much like in Google’s algorithm changes, traffic can abruptly plummet.
With this in mind, creators are being as careful as they can be. One news organization shared that being involved in Facebook’s new project is not only exciting but will certainly increase their content’s exposure in the most accessible gadget imaginable – the smartphone. Having said that, firms are treading lightly when it comes to handing over content distribution and having a third party decide how to use it.
“We will continue developing Instant Articles with our partners over the coming months and will listen to feedback from readers to help us improve the experience.” Facebook promises on their media website.