Facebook supports a range of online content, including news. International publishing companies push out articles to the popular platform because that’s where their readers and followers reside in the digital world.
Receiving updates on the news feed is great for seeing what your friends are up to, but not for real-time news. For this type of content, Facebook is introducing Instant Articles, a publishing feature that allows media establishments to deliver articles faster, and on a richer format that has the potential to keep readers engaged.
“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook” said Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. “Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”
Streamlined News for Major Publications
At the moment, it takes roughly eight seconds for articles to load on Facebook. But on the new system, this process is streamlined up to 10 times. This is incredibly appealing for individuals who use the app on their smartphone. Instant Articles is already available for iOS devices, while Android developments are still ongoing.
The technology that makes this possible is the same system used to pre-load photos and videos on the news feed. From the backend, it removes bulky analytics and advertising codes that slow down the overall experience.
The following media hubs are currently participating in the publishing product: The Times, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, National Geographic, NBC News, The Guardian, BBC News, and Germany’s Bild and Der Spiegel.
Robust, Eye-catching Format
In addition to optimized loading times, Facebook is also rolling out a new publishing format. To start, basic components include business logos, follow and subscription buttons and contributor profiles.
There are several fresh interactive features for readers. Photos support geo-tagging, commenting, likes and audio captions for gripping narrations. Zooming in and out of images is done by tilting the device to the left or right. Videos can be set to auto-play, as users scroll to the section of the post.
The updates are designed to elevate the value of content on the social media site. Spam posts tend to hinder the online experience and are a pain to sift through. With the new product, small time, independent publishers might be encouraged to invest in more quality posts. It’s a win-win for everyone.
“Facebook is, first and foremost, a place for people to connect with family, friends and to stay up to date on what is most important to them,” mentioned Tania Yuki, founder and CEO of Shareablee. “Any surrounding content on the platform needs to add value to that experience, not detract from it.”
The Inevitable Standard For Social Media Content
Social media platforms cater to both global media businesses and spammers, which doesn’t sit well with most people. Facebook’s Instant Articles provides an edge for publishing houses that work around the clock to ensure content is delivered to their readers’ desktops and handheld devices. The medium serves as an effective balance for watered down posts and low quality photos that are floating around our news feeds.
For now, access to Instant Articles is highly exclusive. Media companies that are on the list of participants are huge, publishing houses with millions of daily readers under their belt. Many speculate that it is likely going to stay this way, since opening up the format to brands would once again remove content out of the spotlight.