The Next Big Thing for Small Screens: Facebook Instant Articles

As you may have heard, last year Facebook raised a challenge they had on their hands: what would be the best mobile experience for users interested in content that lives outside Facebook? Readers can easily lose interest in content in the time between clicking the link in the Facebook app and waiting for the publisher’s website to load. What if that content could instead load…instantly? Facebook’s solution: Instant Articles.

On April 12th, at their San Francisco F8 developer conference, Facebook will open up Instant Articles to all publishers, no matter what size or location. And guess what? SimpleReach is ready for it. With the SimpleReach platform publishers can easily measure their traffic behind Instant Articles.

Much like Twitter Moments, Apple News, and Snapchat Discover, Facebook Instant Articles is designed to load mobile articles quickly within the Facebook app. They use the same technology used to display photos and videos on the app, stripping some of the scripts and lagging advertising content that can slow down mobile sites. Instant Articles loads up to ten times faster than a standard mobile site and offers options for enhanced content experiences like audio captions and interactive visuals.

Publishers also have the opportunity to increase revenue as they can sell their own ads in Instant Articles, and/or use the Facebook Audience Network to maximize revenue. This lowers the barrier that publishers may otherwise have had with their content living on another platform. Not too shabby.

What makes this news even more significant is that this is the first time that Facebook has allowed third-party analytics systems to be integrated within their platform, including comScore. Now publishers will get credit for traffic from their Instant Articles. Yet another barrier lowered for publishers supporting Facebook.

In May 2015, Instant Articles launched as a trial on iOS with nine publishers. By the end of that year, the test expanded to 350 publishers and Android. Then, earlier this month, Gawker shared that their unique visitor count increased significantly because of Instant Articles. And now, it’s time to release this new tool to the rest of the publishing world.

SimpleReach’s leadership in helping publishers understand their traffic has been key as we work closely with Facebook to support Instant Articles in our platform. We can’t wait to see how publishers embrace Instant Articles to create a better mobile experience for their readers.

If you’re already a SimpleReach customer, you can read more on the Doc site. Otherwise, learn more about how SimpleReach can help you, wherever your content lives.

Image from Facebook

About Tony

Tony looks after marketing at SimpleReach.

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