Facebook’s New Feature ‘Instant Articles’ Might Change the Way We Consume Online News
Every social media channel has its own way of presenting content to us. While the method may vary, we have to admit nowadays we don’t have to go looking for news, but instead, news finds us. Facebook is undoubtedly a front-runner in this game. Publishers, as well as readers, have grown dependant on Facebook’s reach; our timelines are now filled with stories shared by friends and the pages we ‘like’.
Facebook has chosen to work this trend to its advantage, as well as enhance the user-experience by introducing ‘Instant Articles’. It is a new product for publishers to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook. So what exactly is Instant Articles and what should you look forward to?
Well, Instant Articles feature on Facebook’s mobile app hosts articles from publishers. It’s an experience that makes reading articles on Facebook easy and fast. In order to read an article on Facebook, users had to click on it and then wait for the browser to load the page. With this new feature, the game changes. You now won’t have to exit Facebook to read a website article, Facebook will load the page without exiting, in its app news feed. The benefit of this format is that it now loads the article page 10 times faster. This new feature will also have an immersive experience with audio links and videos embedded within the articles.
Instant Article lets users zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by tilting the phone and videos auto-play as one scrolls through stories. Exploring interactive maps, listening to audio captions, and the versatility to like and comment on individual parts of an article are some of the interesting features of Instant Article.
Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said
Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook. Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.
To begin with, Facebook is currently working with nine partners for this feature, namely The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC, Spiegel and Bild. At present, publishers can only create articles that load on Facebook’s iOS app. There is no news about, if and when Instant Articles will arrive on other platforms.