Instant articles

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Facebook’s Instant Articles – a need for speed

Facebook has teamed up with key publishers to launch Instant Articles, a new feature that makes reading news articles faster on the Facebook app.

Facebook announced the news in a blog post saying “people share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app but these stories take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook.”

“Instant Articles makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles.”

Facebook has partnered with publishers including The New York Times and BuzzFeed to deliver interactive content.

As a sweetener, Facebook says publishers will be able to sell ads in their articles and pocket the revenue.

Aside from faster load times, Instant Articles provides a suite of interactive features including the ability to zoom and explore high-resolution photos by tilting the phone.

Users can also view auto-play videos, interactive maps, listen to audio clips, and comment on articles.

While Twitter has traditionally dominated breaking news, Instant Articles is a clear sign of Facebook’s intention to take back that space.

It will be interesting to watch and see how publishers react to being beholden to Facebook for distribution of their Instant Articles.  After all it is still rented space.

Whatever the fallout – here is another storytelling option for us all to create and enjoy!

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