Nine major news organisations to publish directly to Facebook

Facebook is introducing Instant Articles which is a new product established for publishers to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook.

Currently the social media giant is working with nine launch partners for Instant Articles. These include the likes of The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild.

According to Facebook, publishers can also now sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetise unsold inventory. Publishers will also have the ability to track data and traffic through comScore and other analytics tools. It added that Instant Articles was designed to give publishers control over their stories, brand experience and monetisation opportunities.

“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,” it said in a press statement.

Facebook added that along with a faster experience, Instant Articles will also introduce a suite of interactive features such as zooming, watching auto play videos while scrolling through stories, explore interactive maps, listen to audio captions, and even like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line.

“Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook” said Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox. “Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models.”

Mark Thompson, president and CEO, The New York Times Company said The New York Times already has a significant and growing audience on Facebook. Hence it is 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,” Thompson said.

“It is great to see Facebook trialing new ways for quality journalism to flourish on mobile,” Tony Danker, international director, Guardian News & Media said.

“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.”