Facebook launched “Instant articles” last week. It is a tool within the Facebook App that can be used to create instant articles by media houses.
What makes this important you may ask? It takes nearly eight seconds or more on a regular internet network to load articles online but with Instant articles, the loading time is instant. On this platform, articles will load ten times faster.
How’s this possible? The articles are hosted on Facebook servers and will given some sort of access priority. So this means that you would access the content of say Punch News online or any other major daily like the New York Times will be hosted on the Facebook server instead of redirecting to their own servers/sites.
What are the interesting features of Instant article? Photos for example can have captions like what you see in news papers and more interestingly, they can have audio captions as well. This feature allows the publisher to narrate what you see in the photo.
The photos can also open on an interactive map. Of course comments and likes would be enabled for this photos as well.
They started with nine News sites including The New York times and National Geographic.
For now, you would only be able to see this feature in the iOS version of the Facebook app.
Here’s what some media executives have to say about this
Mark Thompson, President and CEO, The New York Times Company said, “The New York Times already has a significant and growing audience on Facebook. We’re participating in Instant Articles to explore ways of growing the number of Times users on Facebook, improving their experience of our journalism and deepening their engagement. We have a long tradition of meeting readers where they are and that means being available not just on our own sites, but on the social platforms frequented by many current and potential Times users.”
“It is great to see Facebook trialing new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile,” said Tony Danker, International Director, Guardian News & Media. “The Guardian is keen to test how the new platform can provide an even more engaging experience for our readers. It is then vital that, over time, Instant Articles delivers recurring benefit for publishers, whose continued investment in original content underpins its success.”
Image Credit: Facebook