The Washington Post and Time Inc. are among the latest news agencies to join Facebook as content providers for Facebook Instant Articles.
The news broke last week on AFP as Washington Post publisher, Fred Ryan spoke on behalf of the Jeff Bezos-owned daily newspaper saying “The Post will send 100 per cent of its stories to Facebook so that all Washington Post content can be formatted as Instant Articles, giving readers a lightning-fast user experience for reading, sharing and commenting within the Facebook iOS app.”
You may have already encountered Facebook’s Instant Articles, but for those who haven’t we’ll explain exactly what they are.
Unlike traditional links which take you out of Facebook to another website, Instant Articles are designed to be a part of the Facebook ecosystem. This means that articles are within the Facebook platform, making the load times faster and articles easier to access.
It’s best to think of it as a very long status update, but with better formatting as Facebook will simply serve as a more optimised mobile platform for publishers rather than an entirely new platform.
This means that content will not be generated specifically for Instant Articles but will instead pull content from the content providers’ individual websites. This is made possible thanks to existing HTML and RSS feed technologies.
The Washington Post and Time Inc. join Buzzfeed, The Guardian, National Geographic and The New York Times on the service, all of which have been a part of Instant Articles since its launch earlier this year.
Facebook will continue to broaden its scope of content providers as the service becomes available to more people; at present it is only available to iOS users.
In a blog post, Facebook software engineer TR Vishwanath explained plans to extend the service to more content providers. “We will bring additional publishers onboard in the coming months and we look forward to extending the Instant Articles programme in the future so that any content publisher or blog can create great article experiences on Facebook”, he said.
[Via – AFP, Image – Facebook]