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Facebook Instant Articles: What You Need to Know

facebook instant articles

When Facebook launched Instant Articles back in 2015, the digital marketing and publishing communities were buzzing. Publishers and media companies were excited. And for a reason. Just by hosting their articles within Facebook’s platform and displaying their ads, they could drive more traffic and attract the attention of the Facebook community. Yes, Facebook Instant Articles were certainly a step in the right direction for reputable media companies.

However, this new feature wasn’t only suitable for publishers. Users loved it as well. Why? Well, because Instant Articles are much faster and far more interactive than typical websites. Just remember the times before this feature. You’d scroll down your feed, click on an article, then wait to be redirected to the publisher’s website. Sometimes it would take ages for the article to load and, honestly, you’d probably leave the site without reading the content.

But you don’t need to go through this anymore. One click is all it takes and you’re ready to read whatever article you choose. Gotta say, whoever made this pitch about Instant Articles should get a nice settlement from Facebook. That person has made lives easier for more than 2.6 billion Facebook users.

Now, let’s find out more about this feature and why it is so valuable today.

Contents:

What Are Facebook Instant Articles?

Facebook came up with Instant Articles to solve a specific problem. Namely, mobile device users were complaining about slow loading times. But with the release of this feature, Facebook circumvented the problem and made its platform more user-friendly. So, Facebook Instant Articles is a mobile optimized format, allowing publishers to deliver interactive articles with faster loading times. This means they could host content directly on the mobile app.

The feature created a better mobile experience and quickly became popular in the media world. Among the first news outlets to use it were:

All of them reported an increase in traffic after resorting to Instant Articles.

However, Facebook didn’t stop here. With the online advertising revenue amounting to $29.9 billion, this social network decided to get a share of the pie. In other words, approved publishers can also place ads within their Instant Articles. Once you select Instant Articles as a placement, your ads will appear when your audience views articles.

Smart Move

If anything, Facebook understands customers’ needs and desires. The tech company also acknowledges that a great content consumption experience is critical — it’s what makes users stay on their platform. After all, 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Leading a fast-paced life, people want a page to load quickly. And by quickly we mean in two seconds or even less. If their expectations aren’t met, they’ll just abandon your website despite your content being relevant to them.

Therefore, from a user perspective, Facebook Instant Articles truly provide a great experience. They can get any story they want almost instantly. Indeed, they can quickly go over an article, return to the feed, and try to find another update. With this in mind, the data is encouraging:

  • Instant Articles load four times faster than mobile web, leading to lower bounce rates and increased engagement.
  • Instant Articles receive 44% more clicks than other mobile web articles from the News Feed.
  • Users are 70% less likely to abandon the article if they access it from this feature.

Instant Articles do improve users’ time online. But this feature also keeps them on the Facebook mobile application. So, we can say that it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Why Use Facebook Instant Articles?

Whether you like it or not, social media has become important for businesses nowadays. Without an active online presence, consumers are quick to write your brand off. These platforms influence customers and their purchasing decisions. In fact, 62% of people said that they were attracted to a product after seeing it in a Facebook Story.

Therefore, it’s undeniable — social networks are your allies that help you reach a wider audience. Thankfully, many of them like Facebook work on updates and features that make your life easier. And one of those features is Facebook Instant Articles. Here are our top three reasons to use it:

  • Creates an immersive reading experience;
  • Allows publishers to monetize;
  • Uses RSS feed.

Let’s go over them below.

Immersive Reading Experience

Instant Articles have upped the game for media publishers. They are now able to completely transform their stories and improve the reading experience. Not only that, but this feature also brings stories to life, practically making you click on a headline in your feed whether you want it or not.

The articles are great for on-the-go reading as they are minimalistic and load faster. Like many other Facebook’s developments, this one also emphasizes the user experience. We have to say, reading articles on this platform has never been more engaging than now.

Monetize Away

Advertisers and publishers benefit from Facebook Instant Articles in another way as well. In other words, they can make money from this feature and deliver their ads to the world. Here, you have two options:

  • Facebook allows you to directly sell the ads.
  • Alternatively, you can join their Facebook Audience Network.

If you opt for the first option, you keep 100% of the revenue. However, if you go with the second option, expect that Facebook will ask for a 30% cut in the ads. Regardless of your decision, there is another good news. You don’t need to lose any sleep worrying about ad blockers. That’s right, Facebook Instant Articles don’t permit these pesky little extensions.

RSS Feed

Facebook leverages an RSS feed to import articles into the Instant Articles format. You don’t need to worry about readers not seeing the latest content. Namely, Facebook connects with an RSS feed every three minutes. These constant updates won’t disrupt your editorial flow, in case you were wondering. Another advantage is that you don’t need to put in any extra effort to streamline the feed.

Of course, don’t expect that your RSS feed will automatically appear on Instant Articles. As per the policy, Facebook will first review your feed to check its formatting and whether it complies with its content policies. So, this might take at least 2-3 days. However, once your content gets Facebook’s seal of approval, your articles will automatically be available to your readers.

How to Make Money With Facebook Instant Articles?

As we previously mentioned, Facebook lets publishers keep 100% of the revenue for those ads they sell. On the other hand, publishers can also join Audience Network. In this case, they will keep 70% of the revenue and allow Facebook to take the rest.

There is also the limit on the number of ads that can appear in one article. As a general rule of thumb, it’s one ad per every 350 words. Admittedly, this can limit your ability to monetize content. Ads cannot exceed 15% of the content in the given article. Today, this feature enables you to monetize in two ways:

  • Direct-sold ads: This is the most popular option because publishers keep the entire revenue. They can serve animated ads, video ads, and banner ads that need to be sold directly by their teams. The ads will appear with the “Sponsored” heading to indicate that the content is an advertisement.
  • Audience Network: Another option is to incorporate ads from Audience Network into your Instant Articles. You just need to access this network through the Publishing Tools section. Even if you already use Audience Network, you have to create a new Audience Network app that will be used within Facebook Instant Articles.

Deliver Stunning Video Experience With Brid.TV

Not too long after this feature was launched, Brid.TV decided to provide our clients with the Facebook Instant Article embed code support. This addition made it possible for publishers to serve their video content and Brid.TV video player in Instant Articles. With this option, you can deliver a stunning video experience that captivates your target audience.

At Brid.TV, we know that you need to engage your customers to improve your business via Facebook. Having a feature-rich and powerful video player that delivers video content fast on this platform allows you to be one step ahead of your competition.

If this sounds like the answer to your prayers, hit us up and we’ll tell you more on why Brid.TV is the video platform you’ve been waiting for.

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