Facebook recently announced the rollout of its latest, exciting feature – Instant Articles. Instead of requiring audience members to leave the platform in order to read an entire article, Instant Articles are already downloaded in the channel and open instantaneously when the audience clicks on the link.
The articles are designed to be very interactive and read in a more mobile-friendly fashion. Ultimately, the goal of this feature is to enhance the user experience.
This new feature will help the world’s largest social network allow for stories to be told in a more native way than previously possible. Much like Facebook’s auto-play feature for videos uploaded directly to the channel, Instant Articles will make reading print publications more seamless. Facebook is very keen on creating an experience on their platform that will entice the audience to stay for longer periods of time. Instant Articles may help with that.
At the time of writing, Facebook has partnered with select, well-known publications such as The New York Times, The BBC, National Geographic, and of course BuzzFeed. We will have to wait and see which other content platforms Facebook partners with, but from what we hear, other brands are chomping at the bit. Instant Articles will likely increase the amount of time Facebook users spend on each article, which has an indirect benefit for these brands’ bottom line. Additionally, Facebook is sharing the revenue from ads associated with these articles, so in the eyes of these publishers it’s a win-win.
Saying that Instant Articles are in their infancy would be an understatement. However, early on we can see that this does present marketers with an opportunity to provide value to their audience on Facebook in a new way. If the content created by these publications fit the brand, sharing Instant Articles can improve the interaction a user has with that brand on Facebook.
This latest feature from Facebook is an exciting one because it’s a new way to stay native to the platform – a key aspect of having success in Social Media Marketing. And though the platform is new and is likely to be improved along the way, Facebook has proved yet again that it is one of the most innovative companies in marketing today.