It’s been 3 years since Facebook has made Instant Articles available to the publishers but I bet there are still many in the industry who haven’t even heard the name let alone fathom what it is. Nevertheless, we all surely understand one common thing i.e. making more money. And though not everybody writes blogs to earn money, a little extra doesn’t hurt anybody either. So, let’s clear the air for the ignorant ones and show them what these are and how to use them like a pro. 

What are Facebook Instant Articles?

Back in 2015, Facebook released a new feature called ‘Instant Articles’ which was somewhat similar to Google’s AMP articles. This new feature was introduced to solve the issue of slow loading times on the mobile web.

It is basically a mobile-optimized HTML5 display that is available for both Android and iOS platforms and comes with a loading speed 10 times higher to that of the normal feed articles. Moreover, viewers get a much better reading experience as it makes the content visually appealing with their storytelling capabilities and the design.

And not to mention the fact that Instant Articles get almost a quarter more clicks than the general mobile web articles. Besides, they are shared much more frequently on social media channels, all thanks to the easily accessible share button which is just a click away.

Steps to create Instant Articles

  1. Sign up and join the program.
  2. Select the page you would like to activate the articles for.
  3. Claim your URL which will serve as the basis for all your posts.
  4. Use Facebook’s publishing tools to sync your blog with Instant Articles.
  5. Here, you can customize the styling of your articles during setup.
  6. Now you can submit your feed to be reviewed and verified by Facebook.
  7. Also, you need to set up analytics to track article engagement.

 Facebook’s Instant Articles are a result of the ever-decreasing attention span of humans (some are even comparing us to the likes of goldfish in this regard). Especially the millennials with their volatile minds and the constant need to seek entertainment, give or take around 7-8 sec for an article to load, or else they have plenty of other things to do.

Facebook Instant Articles gives publishers an online platform to publish original work without worrying about the loading times since its loading speed is almost 10 times to that of the regular ones. Ok, so is that all? Or there’s more to what meets the eye. Let’s find out- 

Advantages of Facebook Instant Articles

Faster Loading Speed

Of course, it has to be fast loading speed, what else could you expect? Majority of Facebook users are on mobile. Just like Facebook Canvas was introduced to improve storytelling abilities, so was Instant Articles introduced to allow users access articles instantly. You can easily identify these with the ‘lightening bolt’ sign on the image.

Rich Interface

Interaction with any platform primarily depends upon the user experience. In other words, if you want the usage time to increase, be ready to improve the UI as well. Facebook has already applied this strategy via Instant Articles and is offering bezel-less images, rich videos, and map 3d views as a breath of fresh air to the otherwise dull templates on the publishers’ websites till now.

Monetization

As we know, Facebook marketing comes with its own set of challenges. For one, you cannot earn directly fro, it since generating revenue from online marketing efforts has always been a tough one to deal with. But with Instant Articles, you won’t have to worry about that either as Facebook allows you to easily and efficiently insert ads within the content (just like Google Adsense), making you easy money with published content.

Interactive Features

Lastly, all this faster loading time and rich user interface have to lead to greater engagement times. And since the content looks great, users tend to have a greater experience interacting with your article which, in turn, makes these Instant Articles much more sharable than normal web articles. So, if you haven’t already, start experimenting with Facebook Instant articles, you will love it.

But before you fire that bullet, there are a few disadvantages as well which you should be aware of, in my opinion.

Disadvantages of Facebook Instant Articles

Limited Sharing

I know you are not only limited to Facebook for social networking (with Pinterest and LinkedIn in the market) but still, the option to share your Facebook Instant article only on Facebook and Twitter is a turndown.

No Share Count

Yes, this one is a surprise too. You cannot count how many times your article was shared within the article unless you look at it at the start. Though you can count it off as a minor issue but still an issue nevertheless.

Setting Up

Lastly, setting up Facebook Instant Article isn’t that easy. You might need some technical support as well to make it run smoothly. Also while setting up, it might come in handy to have valid credentials with you.

Conclusion:

In the end, it all depends on what your business model and goals are as a publisher and what value Facebook Instant Article is capable of giving it. Meanwhile, like most publishing platforms, all we can do is to test them and hope for the best.

Jackson Edword is a professional writer and an SEO expert. He is working for a Web Design Los Angeles company and published several articles on the subject of Internet Marketing, Social Media and Web Development.

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