Instant Articles from Facebook

  • Posted by Omar 15 May
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Instant Articles from Facebook

On May 12th, Facebook announce the launch of Instant Articles. As more and more people rely on social media for their national and international news updates, it was only a matter of time before a platform was created to facilitate published content reaching the reader, more importantly, the reader with a mobile device. Our mobile devices have become the go-to for everything. When we need a calculator, a flashlight, or when we need to look up a good place to get coffee, and of course we’ve become reliant on our mobile device for news updates.

instant articles

Image: media.fb.com

As Michael Reckhow, Facebook Product Manager, states,

“As more people get their news on mobile devices, we want to make the experience faster and richer on Facebook. People share a lot of articles on Facebook, particularly on our mobile app. To date, however, 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.”

Millennials seem to be at the forefront of this shift. CBS Miami noted,

“The survey of Americans ages 18 to 34, sometimes called the millennial generation, found that two-thirds of respondents said they consume news online regularly, often on a social networking site.”

The infographic by adweek.com shows just how important social media has become as a news source for the young generation.

millennials-journalismThere really is no mystery as to why Facebook was quick to develop something so interactive. National Geographic photographer, Anac Varma couldn’t put it better in saying “if you’re trying to convince someone this is worth their time, you don’t want a loading bar getting in the way.” The idea behind Instant Articles is in the name, article that load instantly. Aside from it’s instant feature, Instant Articles has a plethora of interactive features. Some of the features include instant-play videos, watching videos seamlessly while scrolling, audio captions, and photos that tilt and move with your phone.

Truly, waiting eight seconds for a page to load can seem like an eternity. Weather a slow internet connection or lack that of, linking to news articles may not be the most effective way to get news stories out. Instant Articles seems to target this issue and seems as though the news article will be easier and faster to access. Certainly a better option for readers who want to read the story right then and there. Undoubtedly a great solution for publishers who have great content. They now, can get this content to their audience instantly, without interruption.

As with any kind of change, Instant Articles is bringing great debate along with the new idea. Some fear that hosting and publishing content with Facebook will be detrimental to their own site traffic, as linking articles on social media was a way to gain website traffic. Others fear it will make the Internet giant even more powerful, in a bad way as a couple of points highlight in this article by Vox. For the time being, it seems many are seeing it as a great tool and many heavy hitters in the publishing realm are enthusiastic about what’s to come with Instant Articles. With it being so new, the only way to see what will happen is letting it happen.

 

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