I woke up this morning and started scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed (like I do on any given day) and came across a post made by the New York Times with an interesting feature I hadn’t seen before. A video began to play automatically (no sound) directly in my newsfeed, but Meta information was also included below the video. When I clicked on the link, it took me to the full article (super-fast loading time) on a simplistic landing page hosted on Facebook as opposed to the publisher’s website – and the rest was, as they say, history.
This morning, Facebook officially launched the long-rumored ‘Instant Articles’ with a few massive content producers: New York Times, Buzzfeed, National Geographic, NBC News and the Atlantic – and you will love it as much as I do. Here’s why:
- Instant means just that: instant. The articles load 10x faster than the mobile web on Facebook’s iOS app which means you don’t have to wait for a publisher’s site to load.
- The layout, recycled from Facebook’s Paper App, is simplistic and allows the user to focus on the story, instead of getting distracted by other articles or pop up ads.
- Functionality in the news feed, like photo- and video-panning also makes the publisher’s ad stand out.
- Publishers keep 100% of the profits and have access to all data via Omniture and Google Analytics.
- Though the layout uses Facebook’s app, publishers will have control over the look and feel of their stories – ensuring their stories are branded, not to be confused with another news source.
What I love most about ‘Instant Articles’ is that it’s just another way Facebook is making our lives easier. It’s no secret that people are turning to Facebook for their daily news updates, and this new feature means finding top and breaking stories will be faster and more convenient.
Of course, you can’t forget what this means for brands and publishers. Keeping 100% of revenue for content that users may begin to engage with more frequently is a step in the right direction. For a social network that some brands are beginning to lose faith in, this just may be another reason to stick around.
As a consumer, I feel like Facebook truly has my interests at heart – at least for today.
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