facebook instant articles

What Does Facebook’s “Instant Articles” Mean for Users and Businesses?

The world of content and social media is buzzing with some of the latest news coming out of Facebook HQ. Facebook is planning to host various content pieces from a select number of websites for a new experimental feature that could bring about epic change to social media content.

The new feature is called Instant Articles and it aims to bring content directly to users in a quick, efficient manner. What is this new feature and what can you expect? Take a journey with me to find out.

What is the New Feature?

Instant Articles is a new feature Facebook is testing to see just how well it works for their users, as well as publishers. According to Tech Crunch, Instant Articles gives users access to the news and content they want without having to click and go to a publisher’s website, waiting for it to load. Sometimes, users experience too much load time with various sites, and Facebook wants to help them cut that time down and have quicker access to their favorite sources. The new feature is currently being tested by a few publishers to see how well it works for them and users alike. These publishers are Buzzfeed, The New York Times, National Geographic, and a few other well-known news sites. This is only available on mobile so you will not see Instant Articles within your browser.

Will Instant Articles Give Users More Control Over Their Newsfeeds?

Facebook has recently said that it plans to give users more control over what they see in their newsfeeds, which many are excited for. However, many experts are questioning just how this will play out with Facebook’s newest addition. No one can say for certain if people will get the control they desire over their newsfeeds, and it is likely everyone will need to wait for a bit to find out. However, one element of Instant Articles is to give users the ability to see content that is curated specifically for them. For example, according to the Tech Crunch article I shared above, if users like, comment, and/or share certain types more often, their newsfeeds might be tailored more to show more Instant Articles on topics they like. This isn’t truly control over one’s newsfeed, but it might be a step in a direction that helps Facebook users feel they are getting the content they want.

Will This Help or Hinder Businesses?

Since Instant Articles is in the experimental stage, it isn’t entirely sure just how much it can help or hinder a business. However, there will be an easy-to-access share button on all Instant Articles postings, which can help get content shared by more people on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Remember, I said earlier that this was only available on mobile, which means that the share button for Facebook will help push the content from mobile availability to browser availability.

It will also be great for users because there won’t be a delay when they open web content. They will get to see their content right away without waiting, and possibly leaving the story before it loads. The feature will also support the ability to expand images and GIFs, giving publishers the ability to create trendy pieces that will resonate with a social media crowd.

The main way it can possibly hinder a business is if Facebook does do what I mentioned earlier in the article. If the social media giant starts to tailor a user’s newsfeed based off of what Instant Articles the user likes, comments on, or shares, this could mean other articles get lost. This can be a detriment to different companies, and it is a legitimate worry. Will this truly happen? We will just need to wait and see how Facebook uses this feature, and how it will impact the newsfeed. It is too soon to say if this will be the main hindrance or if there will be other hindrances to look out for in the future.

This is What Paper Was Supposed to Be

Do you remember when Facebook released a new app that incorporated the person’s Facebook account plus news content? If not, don’t feel too bad. Many people ignored this app, known as Paper, making it an epic failure for Facebook. That didn’t stop the social media company, however. In fact, this new feature is very similar to what Paper was supposed to be for the company. It features the ability to access curated news stories quickly, giving users the ability to read their content in the app. Now that Paper isn’t really being used for that purpose, Facebook has implemented Instant Articles, hoping it will prove to be successful. It might just be since it will be in the Facebook app as Paper could have failed simply due to needing to download yet another app.

Who Does This Really Benefit?

When Facebook implements a new feature, the natural question is who will it really benefit. Many times, people believe that the feature will only benefit Facebook, but the company is trying to make sure people know that is not the case with Instant Articles. First of all, it will benefit the users of Facebook because it provides them with a quicker load time by not making them leave the platform to read the article. It will also benefit publishers because Facebook has said they will receive 100 percent of revenue from Instant Articles ads. Another way publishers benefit is that Facebook is also planning on sharing analytics to help the publisher create perfectly tailored content.

Obviously, Facebook will see benefits such as making it a leading news source, which the company hopes will beat Twitter. If the company is set apart as the leading social channel for news, this means more publishers will work with Facebook, which will bring more viewers, and eventual revenue, to the company. This is all speculation, of course, as everyone waits to see just how Instant Articles will work and if it will be the success Facebook is hoping.

Content is, Yet Again, King With Instant Articles

Just a year or so ago, people were questioning if content was king, or if that statement was starting to be irrelevant. With the new Facebook feature, it is once again driving home just how important content is for websites. This means you need to focus on creating content in the form of web pages, blogs, and social media to help bring in and convert new clients. Express Writers can help you create this content with our web content and social media services. Take a look to see how we can help you by preparing your content for Instant Articles.

Photo credit: media.fb.com

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